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iPod designer Jonathan Ive is Britain’s no. 1 cultural figure

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By Dennis Lloyd

Publisher, iLounge
Published: Wednesday, February 11, 2004
News Categories: iPod

“Now Jonathan Ive, the designer of the iPod, the iMac and the iBook, has been recognised by being voted top of a list of Britain’s 50 most influential cultural figures. The list, compiled by leading figures in the worlds of fashion, the arts, media and design, has been compiled for the first birthday of BBC3, the youth-orientated digital channel. [...]

Mr Ive, 38, who was born in Chingford, east London, is now in San Francisco where he earns 1m a year as vice-president of industrial design at Apple Computers. He joined Apple in the early 1990s after the design firm he was working for in London was asked by the struggling American company to create a look for a new laptop. He took the design to California and was hired immediately. The iMac’s colourful rejection of the conventional appearance of computers was a success and Apple was resurrected as a company. The iBook and the iPod have since followed and are widely praised for their good design.”

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Comments

1

I know his work has been very rewarding for the consumer and for apple - but most influential cultural figure? Come on - most people with an ipod dont even know who he is. Has the culture of the world really changed as a result of his designs? Not very - not enough to call him the most influential cultural figure.

At least i can lay safe in the knowledge that this list was compiled by BBC3, the “youth” oriented channel - which doesn’t focus on politics or social issues.

Posted by dmeineck on February 11, 2004 at 11:57 PM (PDT)

2

Well, when you think about how the design of the iMac got Apple back on its feet…which in turn eventually spawned the iPod, the best selling digital music player…which in turn is encouraging more digital music use, which is forcing big music stores like Virgin to change the way they sell music…I’d say that’s pretty damned influential, don’t you think?

And who says the name of a designer has any effect on the influential powers of a product? I bet very few of the people at the companies that made all the accessories for the iMacs when they first came out didn’t know who he was, but boy how Mr. Ive changed their lives. Now it’s the same thing with the iPod. How much money do you think these people make off iPod products?

Am I rambling? Yeah. I’d better stop now.

Posted by hmmm on February 12, 2004 at 12:18 AM (PDT)

3

and it’s not just the product he designed affecting people which gives him the title of ‘most influential’. It’s the way he created these products, that influenced industrial design in general. His designs cause other designers to have another look at what’s being produced, opening people’s eyes.

Just look at what happened after the original iMac launched. He pioneered a production technique (the candy coloured translucency), which was widly aped. And the design itself questioned whether something like a computer can be aesthetically and ergonomically pleasing.

Posted by Nathan on February 12, 2004 at 6:28 AM (PDT)

4

“The recognition for Mr Ive comes after a Christmas season when the iPod, which converts music from vinyl records and CDs into electronic files”

I wish.

Posted by malcanta on February 12, 2004 at 6:42 AM (PDT)

5

Fair points, i do agree now that his indluence is deeper than at first thought. However i think there are many more cultural issues that influence our society more than the (talented) chap who designed the best selling hard disk based music player.

Posted by dmeineck on February 12, 2004 at 7:09 AM (PDT)

6

He has revolutionized the design of personal computers in ways that have made the industry stand up and take notice. The design and engineering behind Apple’s G5 cooling system is brilliant and I can’t wait to see what new jewels Ive has up his sleeve.

My old RIO MP3 player is missing it’s “Play” button because of constant wear and tear. The touch-sensitive iPod is sheer genius! Cheers to Jonathan Ive and Apple for recognizing the stresses that the “Play” button receives!

Posted by Stylescraper on February 12, 2004 at 9:43 AM (PDT)

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