Jony Ive talks design, Steve Jobs, and more in wide-ranging interview

Jony Ive waxes poetic on his relationship with Steve Jobs, the design philosophies that drive product development at Apple, and much more.

In a wide-ranging interview with The Sunday Times, Apple design guru Jony Ive waxes poetic on a vast number of topics, from his relationship with Steve Jobs to the design philosophies that drive product development at Apple.

As for where all the magic happens, Ive along with a team of about 15 other designers, all work in a non-descript, though heavily secured, building on Apple's campus.

Ive works in a design studio in a building on one corner of Apple’s campus at 1 Infinite Loop in Cupertino, the firm’s address. It looks like all the other dull, un-Apple-like glass and beige — yes, beige — concrete blocks. With one really big difference. The glass is opaque and no one other than Ive, his core team and top Apple executives is allowed in. “The reason is, it’s the one place you can go and see everything we’re working on — all the designs, all the prototypes,” Ive says.

His team, from Britain, America, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, “is really much smaller than you’d think — about 15. Most of us have worked together for 15 to 20 years.” That’s useful. “We can be bitterly critical of our work. The personal issues of ego have long since faded.” The large open-plan studio is, like most of Ive’s personal Apple products, all-white. A large wooden bench, like the Genius Bars in Apple Stores, is devoted to new products. At one end are a lot of CNCS — high-tech machines that are used to make prototypes. “Everyone I work with shares the same love of and respect for making,” he says.

Interestingly, Ive articulates that the demanding and angry portrait of Jobs that so often makes the rounds doesn't truly capture who Jobs really was.

“So much has been written about Steve, and I don’t recognize my friend in much of it," Ive explains. "Yes, he had a surgically precise opinion. Yes, it could sting. Yes, he constantly questioned. ‘Is this good enough? Is this right?’ but he was so clever. His ideas were bold and magnificent. They could suck the air from the room. And when the ideas didn’t come, he decided to believe we would eventually make something great. And, oh, the joy of getting there!”

Now, Apple of course remains embroiled in litigation around the world with Samsung. Indeed, the two companies' second mega-trial is scheduled to begin in just a few weeks. When that topic is broached, ableit in a broader sense regarding Apple's work being copied, Ive doesn't mince words, calling such actions "theft."

"What's copied isn't just a design, it's thousands and thousands of hours of struggle."

As for future products, when Ive is asked about Apple potentially releasing an iWatch, he naturally doesn't have much to say.

Obviously, there are rumors about us working on… and, obviously, I’m not going to talk about that. It’s a game of chess, isn’t it?

The entire interview is well worth a read and was re-posted over here at

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