Modern Design with - Jony Ive and Marc Newson

We want to share with you an excellent interview from the Charlie Rose show. He sat down with Jony Ive, Senior VP of Design at Apple, and industrial designer Marc Newson to discuss their creative collaboration to benefit Bono’s (RED) non-profit. Mr. Newson, who has designed cars, jewelry, furniture, and airplane interiors collaborated with his longtime friend Ive over a two-year span. Profits from the auction at Sotheby’s of the 40 iconic objects they re-imagined have gone to (REDS) Global Fund to fight HIV/Aids.

Ive, Steve Jobs’ close collaborator and friend, and a central force in the creation of the iMac, iPod, iPhone, and iPad, was excited by the idea of collaboration with artisans and craftspeople who took extreme care and brought passion to the creation and execution of their design. The varied objects, such as a speedboat, a Leica camera, Airstream trailer, and Hermes riding saddle, all met the criteria for the project; which were all the objects were to be functional, could be replicated, and were admired by both men.

Ive talks about the “inevitability” of the design being the ideal. A sense that “…of course it had to be this way, there could not be a smarter or more rational alternative.” They also made a point of choosing a few objects where the quality of the design was a matter of life and death, the space suit and the window of the Space Shuttle, where perfectionism and passion take on a new vitality.  In discussing clarity of purpose and simplicity

Jony Ive says, “Simplicity is not just the absence of clutter, an aesthetic – it is refining, and being able to define the very essence of what something does, and therefore you understand what it is and what it does…there is a gravity to finding that simple solution. But when you do, it seems almost as if I hasn’t been designed – it’s so obvious.”

Ive’s barometer of great craftsmanship is often the degree of care an individual or a group of people took in making this object – and this care is usually about serving the people who will use it, as well as the pride in making it the best it can be. One’s care and passion in finishing beautifully the interior part of an object no one will ever see goes to his concept of our collective humanity and care for each other. We make things for other people. For Newson, this responsibility shows itself in his object’s sustainability – they must stand the test of time – the very opposite of disposability.

For both designers the beauty is in the clear revelation of the function, not separate from it or added on. Expressing the object in a clear way is what makes it beautiful.