Sir Jonathan Paul "Jony" Ive, KBE, HonFREng, RDI (born 27 February 1967) is a British industrial designer who is currently the chief design officer (CDO) of Apple and Chancellor of the Royal College of Art in London. He joined Apple in 1992. Following ten years of service, he was promoted to senior vice president of design, overseeing the design of the iPod, iPhone, iPad, MacBook, and parts of Apple's user interface, iOS.
|Chancellor of the Royal College of Art|
|Assumed office |
1 July 2017
|Preceded by||James Dyson |
Jonathan Paul Ive
27 February 1967
Chingford, London, England
Heather Pegg Ive (m. 1987)
|Residence||San Francisco, California, U.S.|
|Net worth||US$130.0 million (2013)|
|Awards||List of awards and nominations|
Born and raised in London, England, Ive studied design at University of Northumbria at Newcastle[a] and had his work displayed at the Design Museum. After graduating, he was hired by a start-up design firm called Tangerine to work in their industrials group. Ive began working at Apple in the early 1990s, designing the decade's PowerBooks and Macs. He was invited to join the Royal College of Art in May 2017 as its head-of-college, serving a fixed five-year term until May 2022.
His body of work–from his university years to present–has been influenced by the Bauhaus design tradition, in particular its focus on the credos "form follows function" and "less is more". German designer Dieter Rams has noted Ive's work as in-line with his ten principles of good design. Parallels in color stencil, structure, and lighting design can be found with the luxury German automotive, Audi. Ive frequently lends his voice–noted for its Essex accent and reserved, loquacious style of speech–to Apple's marketing and promotional videos.
Ive has received a number of accolades and honors for his designs and patents. In the United Kingdom, he has been appointed a Royal Designer for Industry (RDI), an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (HonFREng), and a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE). In 2018 he was also awarded the Professor Hawking Fellowship. In a 2004 BBC poll of cultural writers, Ive was ranked the most influential person in British culture. His designs have been noted as integral to the successes of Apple.
Early life and educationEdit
Jonathan Paul Ive was born on 27 February 1967 in Chingford, London, England. His father, Michael Ive, was a silversmith who lectured at Middlesex Polytechnic, and his grandfather was an engineer. Raised just outside of London, Ive attended the Chingford Foundation School and Walton High School in Stafford where he studied sculpture and chemistry. After graduating from high school he explored the option of studying automotive design in London at some of the city's major universities. He briefly considered the Royal College of Art; however, he encountered a learning environment that was off-putting: "The classes were full of students making vroom! vroom! noises as they drew". He attended Newcastle Polytechnic (later renamed University of Northumbria at Newcastle) during the late-1980s. While at university, some of his more notable designs–including a hearing aid design–were exhibited at the Design Museum in London. Ive graduated with a first class B.A. in industrial design in 1989.
His designs in university garnered him the RSA Student Design Award which afforded him a small stipend and a travel expense account to use on a trip to the United States. Ive traveled to Palo Alto, California, where he met with various design experts including Robert Brunner–a designer who ran a small consultancy firm that would later join Apple Computers. After returning to England six weeks later, Ive interned at product design agency Roberts Weaver Group (his college sponsor) where he impressed executives with a pronounced attention to detail and work ethic.
After a year with Roberts Weaver, Ive joined a London startup design agency called Tangerine, located in Hoxton Square where he designed a diverse array of products, such as microwave ovens, toilets, drills and toothbrushes. However, his frustration with the position reached a turning point after he designed a toilet, bidet and sink for client Ideal Standard, and the company's boss rejected Ive's work, stating that the products were too costly and looked too modern. Ive was unhappy working for clients whom he disliked and who didn't possess the same principles. From 1990 to 1992, Robert Brunner unsuccessfully attempted to recruit Ive to Apple, as he was ascending the corporate ladder. During this time Apple became a client of Tangerine's and Ive spearheaded the firm's initial PowerBook designs.
He was formally recruited to Apple as a full-time employee in September 1992. Ive was initially apprehensive about leaving Tangerine for Apple as he thought the move from Britain to California would be tolling on his family. His first major assignment in Apple's industrial design group regarded the second generation of the Newton and the MessagePad 110. Initial design failures and lack of commercial success during the early 1990s, prompted Ive to nearly quit on multiple occasions. Jobs, who had been ousted by other Apple executives in 1985, was staging a return to the company and recruited Ive to join him in taking the firm in a different direction. Jon Rubinstein, Ive's boss at the time, managed to retain Ive as an employee by explaining that Apple was "going to make history" following the revival of the company in 1996.
He became the senior vice president of industrial design in 1997 after the return of Jobs, and subsequently headed the industrial design team responsible for most of the company's significant hardware products. Ive's first design assignment in this capacity was the iMac; it helped pave the way for many other designs such as the iPod and eventually the iPhone and the iPad. Ive explained the close rapport that existed in his working relationship with Jobs in 2014: "When we were looking at objects, what our eyes physically saw and what we came to perceive were exactly the same. And we would ask the same questions, have the same curiosity about things. Ive was given his own design office at Apple during the early 2000s in which he oversees the work of his appointed design team, and he is the only Apple designer with a private office. Only his core team—which consists of around 15 people from the U.K., the U.S., Japan, Australia, and New Zealand (who have worked together for around two decades)—and top Apple executives are allowed into the office, as it contains all of the concepts, including prototypes, that the design team is working on. Ive also refuses to allow his children or family members to enter the office. During the early 2010s, Jobs declared that Ive “has more operational power than anyone else at Apple except me." The offices of Jobs and Ive in Apple's Cupertino headquarters were linked through a hidden, built-in corridor with single-access doors. In 2011 it was reported that Ive was paid $30 million in base salary with a $25 million stock bonus in total compensation for the year. His compensation ceased to be publicly disclosed by the firm thereafter, rendering him the only Apple executive to be afforded such as provision. A year later it was estimated that his net worth was £80 million.
On 29 October 2012, Apple announced that Ive would "provide leadership and direction for Human Interface (HI) across the company in addition to his role as the leader of Industrial Design." With the 2013 World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) announcement of iOS 7 and Ive's role as principal, Apple press information was also updated to reflect his new title: Senior Vice President of Design. In the same press update, Ive stated that he hoped his best work was yet to emerge and that he preferred to be identified as a maker of products, rather than a designer. On 26 May 2015, the firm announced that Ive was promoted to chief design officer (CDO), at the time one of only three C-level executives at Apple along with CEO Tim Cook and CFO Luca Maestri (Jeff Williams would be promoted to COO at the end of 2015). On 8 December 2017, Apple announced that Ive would resume direct responsibility for the company's product design after spending the preceding two years in a more executive, non-creative role.
Royal College of ArtEdit
On 25 May 2017, it was announced that Ive was appointed Chancellor of the Royal College of Art (RCA) in London effective 1 July 2017. In this position he serves a fixed five-year term as the Head of College, where he will govern the college as an academic administrator. Ive began running committee meetings, attending faculty meetings, and conferring graduate degrees in the summer of 2017.
Ive said of the appointment: "I am thrilled to formalise my relationship with the RCA, given the profound influence the college has had on so many of the artists and designers that I admire."
Ive is widely known by his minimalist, downplayed sense of style and presentation of self. Chief among his public image is his "nearly shaved head and tightly trimmed beard". It is estimated that Ive first shaved his head in a tight buzzcut and coupled it with stubble in 2001, aged 34, after he was promoted to vice president of industrial design at Apple. His look had him referred to as one of the "100 Most Powerful Bald Men in the World" by GQ in their 2013 listing. Known for its minimalist look, it has inspired Halloween costumes, grooming regimens, and a small-scale fashion movement, among other things.
He has been known to sport "signature looks" that include: multi-colored pied-de-poule suits, painter's pants, canvas pants, linen button down shirts, Clarks Wallabees, and mono-colored t-shirts. His favorite tailor is reportedly British clothier Thomas Mahon.
The work and principles of Dieter Rams, the chief designer at Braun from 1961 until 1995, influenced Ive's work. In Gary Hustwit's documentary film Objectified (2009), Rams says that Apple is one of only a handful of companies existing today that design products according to his ten principles of good design.
He is also said to have been influenced by the Bauhaus tradition (known for its credos form follows function and less is more), which emerged in Germany during the 1920s and became a staple design approach adopted by the Ulm School of Design during the 1950s. The Bauhaus / Ulm design style was also adopted during the 1980s by Audi, which also influenced Jonathan Ive's designs (particularly his work with Apple Inc.).
While he was attending secondary school at Walton High School in Stafford he met his future wife, British writer and historian Heather Pegg Ive in 1987. He and Pegg have two sons. His family resides in the Pacific Heights neighborhood of San Francisco, California. Their home retailed for US$17.0 million in 2014. Ive commutes an hour and a half from San Francisco to Apple's headquarters in Cupertino everyday.
Known to live a reserved, private home life, he regularly shuns publicity. He explained in 2014 that if his work at Apple ever became substandard, he would "make things for [himself], for [his] friends at home instead".
Since his early years in England, Ive has expressed an interest in automobiles and automotive design. While in university he drove a Fiat 500. He frequently attends auto shows and exhibitions such as the Goodwood Festival of Speed, where he serves as a jury member for competitions.
It has been reported that Ive's preferred automobile manufacturers were all British: Aston Martin, Bentley, and Range Rover. Ive has been linked to owning a wide-variety of automobiles including: an Aston Martin DB4, Aston Martin DB9, Aston Martin Vanquish, Bentley Brooklands, Bentley Mulsanne, Land Rover LR3, and a Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud.
Ive has designed products for charitable causes, including a Leica camera for a charity auction that set a world record auction price for a camera and a Jaeger-LeCoultre sports watch—one of only three in the world—for an HIV/AIDS-charity auction. During this auction, Ive (and fellow designer Marc Newson) raised $13.0 million for Bono's Product Red charity.
Honours and awardsEdit
Throughout his career as an industrial designer at Tangerine and Apple Ive has received nominations and garnered awards for his body of work. In the United Kingdom, he has been appointed a Royal Designer for Industry (RDI), an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (HonFREng), a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2006 and Knight Commander of the same Order (KBE) in 2012. He has received honorary degrees from the Rhode Island School of Design and made an honorary doctor of the Royal College of Art. On successive Wednesdays in June 2016, Ive was awarded honorary Doctor of Science degrees at the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford. In 2004, he was named the "Most Influential Person on British Culture" in a BBC poll of cultural writers.
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