Ive on ID
He urged student designers to remember that the root of good design is "caring" -- doing whatever it takes to make a design right, even if it means starting over really late in the game and working your tail off to catch up.
Ive's care and attention to detail imbues the products Apple makes, and Apple as a company "isn't about making money, it's about making nice things", he said. "We make money to support our desire to make nice things," he stressed.
It's interesting to think about how this ideal really permeates Apple as a company. They've always had trouble really breaking through into the big numbers of sales, but (and perhaps it's because of this) they do go all the way, and make incredible products which are meticulously refined, and have a craft quality way beyond the average computer system.
For example, consider the almost living cooling systems that let the Apple G4 Cube run totally fanless. Or the iSight Webcam, who's housing is so perfectly tuned as a heat sink that the camera's innards can't work without it.
Obviously this commitment to "whole" designs is working for Ive and Apple, if not from a market domination point of view: you'll never see forum flame wars about how Dell is the best. The Design Museum has a great interview with him from last year where he goes into more detail about his life and motivations.
As you're working on your next project, ask yourself if you're just getting it done, or if you're making something that is so complete, it's alive.
Copyright 2004-2006 Dominic Muren and IDFuel Team