Sir Jonathan ‘call me Jony’ Ive on Blue Peter. Ive’s name has now become so recognizable that no one is too surprised that he’s featured like this on a general-audience show like Blue Peter—he’s ascended beyond just being the unknown designer of all those gadgets we like. In my first semester at COFA one of our tasks was to write a profile of a designer, but (because of his ubiquity among common-folk, I think) we were told in no uncertain terms that anyone who chose Ive would be disqualified.
Ive gives a valuable piece of advice: that a brief should define what an outcome is expected to achieve, without being dragged down by a description of form, however inadvertent. In other words, the brief should specify ‘why’ and perhaps ‘how’ rather than ‘what’. So, as Ive says, it’s potentially problematic for a designer to be presented with a brief including the words ‘lunch box’, since that seems to assume that a box in the traditional understanding is what is required. But, to be fair, for the purposes of the Blue Peter audience ‘lunch box’ is far more comprehensible than ‘food container’.
Ive comes across as humble, and genuinely touched when presented with the gold Blue Peter badge. In fact, for me this video portrays him as the most human of the public faces of Apple.