In 2019, Jony Ive departed Apple after more than 20 years to form his own independent design firm called LoveFrom. Since then, we have not heard much from Apple’s storied design executive, but he recently delivered a speech to the California College of the Arts as part of the university’s virtual commencement proceedings.

During the speech, Ive, who was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree, shared a variety of pieces of motivation for the graduates. Ive specifically focused on the challenges students have faced over the last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, lamenting the lack of in-person collaboration. While the speech made no mention of Apple, it is still interesting to hear from Ive after years of quiet.

As recapped by Showstudio:

Filled with nuggets of knowledge for the students to take home with them and remember long after graduating – ‘Opinions are not ideas, opinions are not as important as ideas, opinions are just opinions’ and ‘being curious fuels our appetite to learn and wanting to learn is far more important than being right’ – Ive’s talk is motivational in tone and thought-provoking in matter. Reflecting on the significance of art and design in contemporary culture, citing the magnificent consequences of a fiery and creative imagination, Ive also commented that ‘without imagination, without profoundly new thinking, and potent ideas, our practice has no purpose,’ hammering home the idea that through imagination and creativity comes uniqueness and that innovative designs are a way of defying the ordinary and the mundane.

When Ive departed Apple in 2019, he said that he would be “very involved” with the company for “many, many years to come.” Despite that promise, it’s unclear just how closely Ive and Apple are working together.

Check out Ive’s commencement address below, and let us know what you think of it down in the comments.

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