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Monday, March 12, 2012, 09:27 am PT (12:27 pm ET)

Apple's Jony Ive: 'If we can't make something that is better, we won't do it'

Famed Apple designer Jonathan Ive was recently interviewed by a publication from his home country of the U.K., in which he spoke about his design process and Apple's philosophy in creating new products.

Speaking from Apple's corporate headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., Ive was interviewed by the London Evening Standard for a question-and-answer session published on Monday. In the interview, Ive said Apple employees are driven by a desire to make something that is better.

"Our goals are very simple — to design and make better products," he said. "If we can't do something that is better, we won't do it."

Ive said his career as a designer was even influenced by Apple well before he joined the company. When asked for the first time he became aware of the importance of designers, Ive said it was the first time he used a Mac.

"I'd gone through college in the eighties using a computer and had a horrid experience. Then I discovered the Mac," he said. "It was such a dramatic moment and I remember it so clearly. There was a real sense of the people who made it."

Ive also discussed the design process at Apple, explaining that the "most dramatic shift" comes when he transitions from an "abstract idea to a slightly more material conversation." Building a crude 3D model creates a "nebulous idea," he said, at which point "everything changes."

Apple Design Studio

Apple design chief Jonathan Ive somewhere in Apple's design studio | Source: Objectified


Late last year, Ive was awarded knighthood after being named a Knight Commander of the British Empire for his services to design. Though he now lives in California with his wife and twin sons, he grew up in Chingford, a town northeast of London.

One of the new products Ive is rumored to be hard at work on is an Apple-branded television set. One report from early this year claimed that the designer has a 50-inch prototype secretly held in his California design studio.