WIRED25, which celebrates 25 years of Wired Magazine, was a big enough deal to draw the notoriously shy and increasingly reclusive Jony Ive, Chief Design Officer at Apple, up on to the stage for a one-on-one interview with Vogue's Anna Wintour.
In his remarks, Ive turned again and again to the theme of human connection. It's important to Ive not just professionally (it's central, for example, to his team's vision for the future of Apple's retail experience), but personally. "I moved to the US in 1992 for two reasons: I loved Apple and I loved the US." At the time, he said, "optimism was tangible and material"—particularly in Silicon Valley.
The connection appears to also be what will keep him at Apple. Asked whether he plans to continue designing for the foreseeable future, Ive answered in the affirmative by pointing to the collaborative environment at the company, which he characterized as more diverse than ever.
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Ive's projects may change, evolve, and iterate over the years, from iPhones to iPads to Watches to Macs to Apple Retail to Apple Park, but rumors of his checking out have always been on the under-informed side.
He's the most impactful and arguable the best industrial designer of his generation and, at Apple, he gets to not only envision the future but envision his future.
And there aren't many gigs with that much freedom and scope.
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