Apple’s Chief Design Officer, the design maestro Jony Ive, in an intriguing interview to Wallpaper spoke at length about the iPhone X and his silent efforts that brought the Spaceship campus to life. Responsible for everything design at Apple, Jony Ive is a very warm and down-to-earth person who is scarcely seen or heard giving interviews and when he does, it's a pretty big deal.

Jony Ive prefers evolving functionality over sentimentality

1/3Jony Ive prefers evolving functionality over sentimentality
Jony Ive prefers evolving functionality over sentimentality

Upon being asked whether he misses the manual click and scroll based input on the early iPods, he says that his fascination lies with the products that have a more general purpose. “So while I’m completely seduced by the coherence and simplicity and how easy it is to comprehend something like the first iPod, I am quite honestly more fascinated and intrigued by an object that changes its function profoundly and evolves. That is rare. That didn’t happen 50 years ago,” he tells Wallpaper.

On the significance of iPhone X

2/3On the significance of iPhone X
On the significance of iPhone X

2017 happens to be the 10th anniversary of the iPhone in existence. The rumour mill started churning out new theories and possibilities about a special edition iPhone since late 2016. It went on until the last minute of the Apple’s keynote address on September 12 when the Cupertino giant unveiled the iPhone X. It was a big deal because here was Apple who stepped forward into the next evolution of what would define them as a technology company.

“What I think is remarkable about the iPhone X is that its functionality is so determined by software. And because of the fluid nature of software, this product is going to change and evolve. In 12 months’ time, this object will be able to do things that it can’t now. I think that is extraordinary. I think we will look back on it and see it as a very significant point in terms of the products we have been developing.”

Talking about evolution, back in 2009, when Steve Jobs announced the first iPhone, it was a transition from phones with buttons to a display backed by multi-touch input, just like the iPhone X has ventured into the world letting go of Touch ID and bezels.

‘If you think of what multi-touch afforded, on the one hand, it was so powerfully intuitive because you could directly manipulate content. But because it wasn’t affected by physical buttons, you could create an interface that was very specific to an application. That’s why the App Store could be and you could have such an extraordinary range of applications and user interfaces,” says Jony Ive.

When Jony says that in a year from now, the iPhone X will be capable of doing so much more than today, what he means is that all that screen estate which is currently unused will be made use of along with the advancements in AR. Additionally, the A11 Bionic chipset on the iPhone X will also play a major role for the next generation of the iPhones as a driving force and a benchmark of performance.

“The building will evolve,” Jony Ive on Apple Park

3/3“The building will evolve,” Jony Ive on Apple Park
“The building will evolve,” Jony Ive on Apple Park

On September 12, attendees of the Special Event also witnessed for the very first time, the Apple Park dubbed “spaceship” campus. Built for close to a whopping 5 billion dollars, the Apple Park is the company's all glass campus. It's just a loop of glass that goes around 175 acres of land at the centre of which are over 9,000 apricot, apple, cherry, persimmon and pear trees.

“Everything in this theatre, every detail, everything you see around you, is a totally integrated collaboration with Jony Ive and his design studio. Over the last nine years, we have become almost one. We talk together all the time, sit and sketch. This is not a Foster + Partners building,” says Stefan Behling from Foster + Partners and a lead architect of the Park.

Jony Ive was instrumental in giving life to the Apple Park just as Steve Jobs would have wanted. And if the future is all about adaptability and evolution, Ive has made sure that the same is reflected in his building as well.

“I don’t think it is necessary to be explicit about its flexibility but that flexibility is absolutely as powerful as in buildings where the primary story, is “Hey, you can reconfigure this”. Our building is very configurable and you can very quickly create large open spaces or you can configure lots of smaller private offices. The building will change and it will evolve. And I’m sure in 20 years’ time we will be designing and developing very different products, and just that alone will drive the campus to evolve and change. And actually, I’m much more interested in being able to see the landscape, that is a much more important capability,” he says.