The UK’s Sunday Timespublished a massive, five-page interview (paywall) with Apple SVP of Design Jonathan Ive today that takes a look at the history and future of Apple from the perspective of the man who designed some of the most iconic devices of the past decade.
In the interview, Ive discusses (among other things) his approach to designing new products, which allows a device’s function to dictate its form:
Ive starts a new project by imagining what a new kind of product should be and what it should do. Only once he’s answered those questions does he work out what it should look like. He seeks advice in unlikely places. He worked with confectionery manufacturers to perfect the translucent jelly-bean shades of his first big hit, the original iMac. He travelled to Niigata in northern Japan to see how metalworkers there beat metal so thin, to help him create the Titanium PowerBook, the first lightweight aluminum laptop in a world of hefty black plastic slabs.
With regard to manufacturers like Samsung “referencing” Apple’s design in their products, Ive called the practice “theft” of “thousands of hours of struggle.”
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A sidebar on the article deals with Ive’s responses to a set of rapid-fire questions on a variety of topics, ranging from whether his age (47) gives him any concern in the technology industry to why he so often turns to white as his color of choice when designing both hardware and software. Ive also notes that Apple is currently (obviously) working on a new product that he can’t say anything about, possibly hinting at rumors of an Apple wearable device or the iOS 8 software.
The interview has been reprinted by TIME and you can read the entire thing there.