Apple chief design officer Jony Ive recently sat down with model and actress Naomi Campbell for an interview, discussing topics like his design process, Steve Jobs, Apple secrecy, and more (via Vogue).
Campbell asked about Ive’s personal involvement in the manufacturing process, bringing up a rumor she heard that he slept on factory floors when Apple was making the first iPhone. Ive didn’t specifically confirm the rumor, but he mentioned he has “stayed for months” in the places that Apple makes its products. “I don’t know how you can be an effective designer and not do that,” he said.
On the topic of Apple’s secrecy:
I don’t really see it as being secretive – if I’m working on something and it’s not finished, I don’t want to show somebody! One of the defining things about the nature of ideas is just how fragile they are: when you’re not sure whether some-thing is going to work, the idea is vulnerable. Part of protecting the idea is to be careful about who you show it to; premature criticism can shut something down that perhaps deserves more of a chance.
Ive also discussed former Apple CEO Steve Jobs, mentioning that the two “looked at the world in the same way,” and that he appreciates and misses Jobs more as time goes on. When Campbell asked about lessons learned from Jobs, Ive said that Jobs’ way of thinking has stuck with him: “There was an incredible liberty in the way he would think. He wouldn’t obey rules that were perceived to be accepted wisdom, and he had an extraordinary optimism and enthusiasm.”
Ive also stated that he thinks of Jobs and his values when hiring new people at Apple:
The main thing is how they see the world. Ultimately, Steve’s legacy is a set of values and, I think, the belief in trying. Often the quietest voices are the easiest to overlook, but he was brilliant at listening as well as leading and speaking. A lot of com-munication is listening – not just listening to figure out what you want to say in response.
The Ive-Campbell interview has been published ahead of Ive’s sponsorship of former fashion designer Azzedine Alaïa’s work at London’s Design Museum in May. Ive said that he used to watch Alaïa design and was in “utter awe”: “It was incredible to see the way that he understood material, and the way he would be frustrated with material and so create new ones. And then these beautiful forms would emerge.”
To read the full interview, visit Vogue‘s website.