Sir Jonathon Ive recently made an appearance on Blue Peter, a children’s show on BBC airing since the past 50 years, where he gave a glimpse of what Apple’s industrial design workshop looks like, and shared a few of Apple’s philosophies about approaching an entirely new product category.
While evaluating entries for a contest that asks kids to design an all-in-one lunchbox, school bag and pencil case, the anchor asks Ive how he’d approach such a problem. In his answer, Ive shares an interesting point about Apple’s design process when approaching new products:
“If we’re thinking of lunchbox, we’d be really careful about not having the word ‘box’ already give you bunch of ideas that could be quite narrow. You think of a box being a square, and like a cube. And so we’re quite careful with the words we use, because those can determine the path that you go down.”
Given the multiple product categories Apple’s rumored to target in the coming years (phablet, cheaper iPhone, watch, TV), you could sort of guess how Apple would approach them. For instance, the iPad wouldn’t have been possible if Apple’s engineers and designers were thinking about Netbooks.
Ive’s role was expanded to cover design of software in addition to hardware following the departure of iOS head Scott Forstall. A lot of folks take this as a sign of the death of skeuomorphic design (the use of leather and linen textures) in native apps for iOS and OS X.
Ive was also presented with the Gold Blue Peter badge for being an inspiration to children all around the world. He later gives viewers a peek into Apple’s design workshop, and the company’s large CNC machine that’s carving out the Blue Peter badge on a large block of Aluminium. Last year, Ive was awarded knighthood by the Queen of England.
We’ve embedded the video of his appearance on the show below: