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Apple designer Jonathan Ive, responsible for such innovations as the iPod and iPad, is being knighted in his home country of England for his contributions to the greater good – both from a consumer/technological standpoint as well as his humanitarian efforts. The Telegraph recently had the opportunity to sit down with him as he prepared for the monumental honor. Having worked at Apple since 1992, Ive is widely-considered to be at the forefront of the design knowledge that “people’s interest is in the product, not in its authorship.” While choice excerpts appear below, the entire piece can be read here.
“All I’ve ever wanted to do is design and make; it’s what I love doing. It’s great if you can find what you love to do. Finding it is one thing but then to be able to practise that and be preoccupied with that is another,” he says. “I’m very aware of an incredible tradition in the UK of designing and making, and so to be recognised in this way is really wonderful.”
Ive was born in 1967 in Chingford, Essex, but raised in Staffordshire, where he went to Walton High School, a large comprehensive in Stafford. He says his father, a teacher, was a significant influence on his decision to pursue design. “My father was a very good craftsman. He made furniture, he made silverware and he had an incredible gift in terms of how you can make something yourself.”
Ive talks about Apple’s attention to detail in its products – details that often won’t be seen by consumers at all – as a desire to “finish the back of the drawer”. “We do it because we think it’s right,” he says. The seed of that idea was planted while watching his father work. “Growing up, I enjoyed drawing but it was always in the service of an idea. I drew all the time and I enjoyed making.”