Writing for the U.K.-based publication Independent News , Charles Arthur has interviewed the new iMac’s designer, Apple’s Jonathan Ive. Ive’s comments come in a new article entitled The shape of things to come.
Still a bit overwhelmed by the sudden publicity of the design on which he’d labored in secrecy for two years, Ive reiterated to Arthur what many Mac enthusiasts have since heard about or read — that his design was supposed to be evocative of a sunflower, with each component (CPU and screen) “true to itself,” as per the direction of Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Jobs and Ive brainstormed about the iMac’s design during an afternoon in Jobs’ wife’s vegetable garden.
Ive, whose background includes designing washbashins, scoffs at other computer designers who create cases that feature “swoopy shapes to look good.” He calls them arrogant, creating designs that don’t benefit the user. Contrasting Apple designs against the industry, Ive claims that there isn’t “a single thing on an Apple that hasn’t had thought put into it.”
Asked if the design really matters in a computer, Ive said that the computer industry is too often about numbers and not enough on the value of design. And Ive is fully cognizant of how often his own designs are mimicked by Apple’s competitors. Shrugging off all the machines that parroted the first iMac’s style and form, Ive said, “Sometimes it seems a little sad that people are missing the point.”
To Ive’s perspective, the iMac experience isn’t just about Apple’s standard mantra of “Think Different.”
“The thing is, it’s very easy to be different, but very difficult to be better,” said Ive. “That’s what we have tried to do with the new iMac.”