Our friends over at Core77 got a chance to sit down with Apple’s Senior Vice President of Design, Jonathan Ive, to talk about the materials that went into, and informed the design of, the iPhone 4. Yeah, I know, the Apple haters will hate, but there’s some interesting… ah… material here, like the quote below. And when you’re in a position to develop your own materials for a product, and you’re able to achieve this quality of precision manufacturing in a reasonably affordable consumer project, that’s something worth paying attention to. At least, it gets my attention. YMMV.
That last part reminds me that there must have been a sizeable team behind the iPhone 4, and Ive confirms it, mentioning the importance of collaboration between engineering, manufacturing and design. It is an intense interplay between these fields that can yield mastery of the material, which is where everything starts with this object. “The best design explicitly acknowledges that you cannot disconnect the form from the material–the material informs the form,” says Ive. “It is the polar opposite of working virtually in CAD to create an arbitrary form that you then render as a particular material, annotating a part and saying ‘that’s wood’ and so on. Because when an object’s materials, the materials’ processes and the form are all perfectly aligned, that object has a very real resonance on lots of levels. People recognize that object as authentic and real in a very particular way.”