Jonathan Ive to lead hardware and software design at Apple

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New: Apple will bring its hardware and software design teams together as part of a major overhaul of its management team. The move follows claims that the company is “a bit behind” in integrating industrial and digital design and criticism of its dedication to Skeuomorphic design.


In a press release published last night, Apple announced “leadership changes that will further encourage collaboration between the company’s world-class hardware, software and services teams.”

Jonathan Ive (above) will lead a new Human Interface (HI) department while retaining his role as Industrial Design Manager.

Apple also announced the departure of Scott Forstall, senior vice president of iOS software and a strong supporter of the controversial “skeuomorphic” approach to software design, which involves building applications that mimic real-world objects such as leather effect logs and wood. stylish shelves.

It is understood that Forstall and Ive, senior vice president of industrial design, strongly disagreed on this approach. In an interview with the Telegraph earlier this yearI winced when asked about faux leather stitching on Apple’s Calendar app.

“I focus a lot on working with the other teams on product ideas and then developing the hardware. So that’s our focus and our responsibility,” Ive told the interviewer. “As far as the things you’re talking about, I’m not really connected to that.”

The contrast between Apple’s minimalist approach to hardware and its skeuomorphic software has led to ridicule in the design world. In an interview with Dezeen editor-in-chief Marcus Fairs last month, San Francisco designer Yves Behar said, “Obviously they didn’t go with the material, so why are they there? gone with the software? That’s a very good question. “

Behar added that bringing the hardware and software design teams together was “a whole new blue ocean for us as designers.” “Apple is actually a bit behind in this area,” he said. “Apple designs its product and software separately.”

Ive’s industrial design team was named the best design studio of the past 50 years by D&AD in September. Apple’s statement said, “Jony Ive will provide leadership and direction for the Human Interface (HI) across the company in addition to his role as a leader in industrial design. His incredible design aesthetic has has been the driving force behind the look and feel of Apple products for over a decade. ”

I became famous with the launch of the first revolutionary iMac in 1998, which featured a colorful, translucent casing. Since then, its design aesthetic has evolved into a purer, more minimal style that seems to be influenced by the work of German designer Dieter Rams.

Forstall, who was responsible for the failed Apple Maps launch on the new iPhone 5, is due to serve as an adviser to interim CEO Tim Cook before he leaves next year. Other changes Apple announced will see Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue – whose team is already responsible for the iTunes Store, App Store, iBookstore and iCloud – take on additional responsibility for Siri and Maps.

Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi will lead the development of the iOS and OS X operating platforms, previously managed by separate teams, and Bob Mansfield will lead a new department bringing together all of the teams across the company. company working on wireless technologies. Retail Director John Browett is also leaving Apple.

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Top image: iPad mini, launched last week


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