Apple design team shows off 'quiet and calming' Apple Park

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Previously unseen images of the interior of Apple Park have now been revealed by the company's design team, as they discuss working in the iconic building.

Four years after Jony Ive described Apple Park to Wallpaper*, the publication has returned to learn how the completed building feels to its design staff. Evans Hankey, vice president of industrial design, and Alan Dye, vice president of human interface design, say that it's only after a few years that they've come to appreciate the building.

"It's just so quiet and calming," Hankey told Wallpaper*. "We never really understood what that would mean for us until we'd been here for a while. It's been designed for serendipitous meetings as well as collaboration."

The design team moved in to Apple Park three years ago, and the intention from the start was that the whole team would work together.

"We can have industrial designers sat next to a font designer," said Jony Ive back in 2017, "sat next to a sound designer, who is sat next to a motion graphics expert, who is sat next to a colour designer, who is sat next to somebody who is developing objects in soft materials."

Hankey and Dye say that this is exactly what has happened, but also that it took more work than had perhaps been imagined.

Evans Hankey (red top, behind iMacs) leads a design discussion in Apple Park
Evans Hankey (red top, behind iMacs) leads a design discussion in Apple Park

"We knew very much that this was a massive opportunity, but we also knew that it also had to be more than just adjacencies," said Hankey. "We got to where we were as a team because of our cultures and our processes."

"It was a challenge, not an automatic win," she continued. "It really took a lot of time to try new things out and be a little bit outside our comfort zones."

"We care about making great products, but we've worked equally hard at making a great team and culture," added Dye. "A lot of that came from the beginning. Steve defined Apple by its design."

"We always remember him saying that design is not just a veneer. It's not just how things look, it's about how things work," he continued. "After three years, we couldn't believe more in the vision of having one central Design Team across all Apple products."

Discussing typography in an Apple Park meeting room
Alan Dye (blue top), discussing typography in an Apple Park meeting room

The full Wallpaper* interview touches on how this approach has benefited the design of products such as the Apple Watch. It also, though, reveals an Apple tradition.

"We have this tradition of making things for one another at Christmas," says Hankey. "It's about that joy of making and joy of giving. It's something that's come from the culture of the team."