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Jonathan Ive

Apple of his Ive. (Apple)

As Apple’s Senior Vice President of Industrial Design, Sir Jonathan Ive is the man behind the design of the MacBook, iMac, iPhone and iPad. But he’s been far more important at Apple than his title would imply. The late Steve Jobs, speaking about Ive, told Walter Isaacson: “He’s not just a designer. That’s why he works directly for me. He has more operational power than anyone else at Apple except me. There’s no one who can tell him what to do, or to butt out. That’s the way I set it up.” Although he now works in Silicon Valley, Ive credits his British background as one of the sources of his creativity: “I am very aware that I’m the product of growing up in England,” he told the London Evening Standard earlier this year, “and the tradition of designing and making, of England industrializing first. The emphasis and value on ideas and original thinking is an innate part of British culture, and in many ways, that describes the traditions of design.”

London, he adds, is “remarkable” and he returns three or four times a year, perhaps for inspiration: “It’s a very important city, and makes a significant contribution to design, to creating something new where previously something didn’t exist.”

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By Paul Hechinger