The life and creative influence of Apple’s unassuming design savant.
Former Wired.com news editor and Apple authority Kahney (Inside Steve’s Brain, 2008) examines the company’s senior vice president of industrial design, Jonathan “Jony” Paul Ive, a 46-year-old British expatriate and technological whiz. Born in a conservative London suburb and raised by an intuitive, innovative silversmith father and a psychotherapist mother, Ive’s penchant for tinkering wasn’t hampered by a dyslexia diagnosis in his teens (a dysfunction shared with Steve Jobs, the author notes). Emboldened by his father, Ive excelled in drawing and sophisticated technical design throughout college and, upon bonding with the Apple’s Mac platform, worked through an escalating series of high-profile assignments and co-partnered his own firm. In 1991, he scored an Apple consultancy and induction into then–Chief of Industrial Design Bob Brunner’s “dream team.” Ive’s induction into the computer hardware culture was seamless since he had already taken several exploratory jaunts to northern California, an area that attracted him for its embrace and cultivation of emerging tech talent. Through an impressive roster of interviews with a variety of authors, design experts, and former and current Apple employees, Kahney conveys the urgency and the demand for Ive’s immense talent within the tech universe. In the endnotes, the author takes delicious delight in describing Apple’s notoriously steely reputation for secrecy and remarks that while those same forthcoming interviewees are more than likely bound by Apple’s stringent nondisclosure agreement, the book wouldn’t have been possible without their risky participation. From his award-winning work with the Newton MessagePad to the iMac, iPad Mini and a seventh-generation operating system, Ive has become an indirect preceptor on how the world exchanges information.
An adulating biography of Apple’s left-brained wunderkind, whose work continues to revolutionize modern technology.