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Summary:

Ahead of receiving his knighthood from the Queen, Apple’s British design chief Jonathan Ive has given a rare interview to the U.K.’s Daily Telegraph, outlining some of his thoughts and feelings on how the company’s products achieve a “sense of care.”

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Ahead of receiving his knighthood from the Queen, Apple’s Jony Ive has given a rare interview to the U.K.’s Daily Telegraph — outlining some of his thoughts and feelings on product design.

While the article focuses, perhaps unsurprisingly, on his links to Britain — his design education, how London’s a vibrant city and so on — and runs over the now-familiar details of his career, there are a few choice quotes where he explains a few things about his sensibility.

In particular, he mentions how Apple tries hard to make its customers feel that the products and services have a built-in sense of care. By that he means trying to instill a carefulness and thoughtful philosophy right through the product — and avoid the worry that producing millions of devices would somehow introduce a “godless” quality to the things it makes.

“We try to develop products that seem somehow inevitable. That leave you with the sense that that’s the only possible solution that makes sense.”

“I think subconsciously people are remarkably discerning. I think that they can sense care. I think it’s a wonderful view that care was important – but I think you can make a one-off and not care and you can make a million of something and care. Whether you really care or not is not driven by how many of the products you’re going to make.”

“One of the concerns was that there would somehow be, inherent with mass production and industrialisation, a godlessness and a lack of care.

“We’re keenly aware that when we develop and make something and bring it to market that it really does speak to a set of values. And what preoccupies us is that sense of care, and what our products will not speak to is a schedule, what our products will not speak to is trying to respond to some corporate or competitive agenda. We’re very genuinely designing the best products that we can for people.”

The allusion to “godlessness” may seem odd, but I suspect that he hasn’t turned to religion — and is in fact referring to the soullessness of many designed-by-committee, manufactured-by-the-ton products.

Given how rarely Ive steps into the limelight (even now) (he also spoke to London’s Evening Standard a couple of months ago) it’s worth a read: the rest of the interview is here.

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  1. Artists… They’re so weird sometimes.

  2. Could have chosen a better word – even if he was trying to address the LCD. Even if I tend to enjoy the paper, the TELEGRAPH knows their general audience – and so does Ive.

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