You know who he is, even while his name may be unknown. The one who speaks in a artless, yet meaningful voice in every Apple commercial, going on and on about some breakthrough in technology. He’s the one who designed the iMac, the iPod, the MacBook and the iPhone. He inspires others with his creations. In the developed world, it is almost impossible to go a day without seeing something he has designed. Enter Jonathan Ive, Chief Design Officer at Apple.
Jonathan Ive been designing virtually all of Apple’s products since he first became the chief design officer in 1997. He pushes boundaries of what people think is possible. He showed the world with the first iMacs that plastic was not a cheap material, and when used correctly, can scream refined design. He implemented the famous click wheel into the iPod, and moved laptops from big clunky things that were only used by business people to an everyday consumer product for everyone.
Jony Ive is inspiring to me as he is someone who influenced the entire world. There is virtually no other person like him in the world. Who else pioneered designs for the past 20 years non-stop? Who else has solely influenced designs in entire industries?
Not only is he designing for Apple, he’s designing for the world. Take the first iPod. Was it the first mp3 player? No, but it did it better than any before it. It was small, could hold up to 1 000 songs, and had intuitive button placement. The iPod essentially remade the way we listen to music, and every other company had to follow suit after. Not to mention the introduction of white earbuds(rarely seen before), and it’s social influence such as in movies like Baby Driver.
All of this has led me to choose Jonathan Ive as my eminent person this year. He has influenced multiple aspects of the world, whether that be computers, phones, music or fitness.
My eminent person is in a field I am certainly interested in. I love engineering, designing and making things work as efficient as possible. As Jony Ive puts it: “true simplicity is derived from so much more than just the absence of clutter and ornamentation. It’s about bringing order to complexity.” This quote certainly applies to many parts of life, and something that I agree with. However, I’ve doesn’t just say this, he lives by it.
I every product he designs, it is all about making everything as seamless and easy to use as possible. On iOS every button and every gesture has a purpose. Five fingers inwards on an iPad means close and swiping up takes you back home(iPhone X only). In OS X, there’s no driver updates required or drives to partition, everything seamlessly happens.
Jony Ive has a lot of admirable qualities, however, his specific role in society isn’t necessarily something I perfectly align with. I am certainly have interests in design, but designing consumer electronics isn’t something I that would interest me doing full time. That being said, Jony Ive is more of an icon of the pinnacle of designing, and being a designer for other things, such as architectural designing, engineering design or graphic design is something I would be interested in.
My eminent person comes from a similar background as me, being from a privileged background in a first world country. To get to where he is today, he originally took a course in car design, at which point he decided to switch to industrial design. This route is something similar I would take in my pursuing of a career, which at this point would either be visual effects, graphic design, or aerospace engineering. Regardless of my choice, all of these would follow a similar path to Ive, where I would study at a university to further pursue my further interests and eventually get a job, which would give me the opportunity, similarly to Ive, to design and create to inspire the world.
My eminent person this year is significantly different from my eminent person last year: Stephen Hawking. With Stephen Hawking, I got to learn about how someone can pursue a make themselves a successful career, despite obstacles in the way. This year however, I have chosen someone who is more influential in most people’s everyday lives, rather than in a specific field of physics. By doing this, I feel like I am able to see both sides of being eminent. One is for the masses; the other is for the specific.
Through this eminent person study, I hope to discover a bit more about what it means to be eminent, and more specifically, what it means to impact millions of people’s lives in a positive way. By doing this, I am able to get insight as to what I can do to achieve such eminence.