August is rapidly getting over but the innovation is not! Here are the best designs from this month that are already turning heads be it the redesigned Mac Pro concept that sure looks like a more efficient design to a portable, emission-free portable air conditioner to relieve the heat, or even wireless headphones that double as a fashion accessory, just scroll down, have a look and get inspired to create your own innovative design.
Everyone has been debating the recent cheese-grater edition of the Mac Pro, and I hate to admit that this was one Apple product that I didn’t fancy much. I’d much rather live in a fantasy world and promote the Mac Pro concept by Semin Jun. The CPU is classy and features two parts – the main body and its case. Wrapped in a mesh polycarbonate body, the heart of the computer is encapsulated in a stylish transparent frame. Designed as a wireless sync edition that works with your iPhone, simply place it on top of the Mac and let it sync with your computer and charge at the same time.
evaCHILL provides each user with their own personal microclimate without the release of Carbon Dioxide by using the principle of water evaporation to create moist, fresh and, most importantly, cool air!
Based on patented designs, these conceptual Xbox Cloud controllers give us an idea of what the real thing would feel like. Two controller-halves clip onto either side of the phone, turning it into a handheld gaming console, complete with everything you need to play Xbox’s signature titles. The controllers come in a variety of colors, just like the original Xbox ones, and feature all the keys, buttons, and joysticks, including BOTH the left and right triggers on the top!
Designed for the year 2022, when Lamborghini realizes that the Urus needs an overhaul either because it’s selling like hotcakes, or not selling at all, the Agressivo (a concept SUV by Fernando Pastre Fertonani) is, quite simply put, more tastefully Lamborghini-esque. Agressivo’s demeanor is more in line with Lamborghini’s sportscars, but it comes in the format of an SUV, with wide tires, higher road clearance, and strangely enough, just two doors.
Rather than be confined in a case, where they hide from view, these conceptual earphones sit around your neck, magnetically attached to a chain, giving the earbuds a more fashion-forward approach in a rather direct sense (almost looking like pendants or dog-tags). Each earphone comes with its own sleeve that covers the silicone tip, preventing it from falling off or worse, getting dirty.
LavvieBot S is the smartest litter box and is integrated with IoT functions. It automatically cleans your cat’s litter and refills it from the storage bin. You can check the status of your cat’s business (bowel movements) in real-time via the App ‘PurrSong’. The one thing that you can be assured, is that the refilling of litter will not happen if your cat is in the bin. As the cat enters, the sensors capture the movement and hold-off refilling.
AirFlex Labs is trying to challenge the status quo with their Tech Pants, featuring a fabric that looks like denim and is as durable as denim but is thinner, more breathable, flexible, and comfortable to wear. Combining performance synthetic fibers like Tencel and Polyamide with Japanese 10oz Pima cotton, AirFlex’s engineered fabric combines the best of all worlds. It has an impressive four-way stretch, is breathable, wicks moisture rapidly, resists wrinkles, lasts as long as denim does, and does all this while being 30% lighter than denim.
Titled the Switch UP, the console is primarily handheld, but still retains a crucial feature found in the Switch… being able to game on a larger screen. The Switch UP doesn’t come with detachable joy-cons, making it a little like the Switch Lite that released last month. However, the Switch UP sits halfway between the Switch and the Lite, giving you the ability to play your favorite Nintendo titles on the move, or on your TV! The backpack, called the Clever Dock, fits into a negative space in the controller, integrating with it seamlessly. It works as an extra battery pack for the console, while also comes with HDMI and USB ports, allowing you to plug it to your television or even a projector.
Imagine a smart insulin port attached to your skin, delivering the right dose, and at the right time. At the same moment, getting all information regarding your sugar levels, meds timings and health data, managed and analyzed with the accompanying app. Kite replaces the need to pump yourself with over 30 injections a week, thanks to the soft cannula insertion. It turns any device into a ‘smart’ device and automatically dispenses the accurate insulin dose. Designed to be affordable, a device like this can be very helpful in the lifestyle management of diabetics.
Designed for bespoke comfort, and for unparalleled lightness while running, Nike’s Joyride Run Flyknit literally has a sole that’s filled with multiple tiny squishy spongy beads. Resembling a beanbag for your feet, the Joyride give your feet the same feeling a beanbag gives your body. A cushioned experience that takes the shape of your foot. Engineered to perfection, these beads have absolutely the perfect density, allowing you to run on any surface without feeling the stress on your heels, shins, or knees.
On first glance, you would be forgiven in mistaking this air purifier for a side-table; its confident form and carefully-considered details lead to a product that resembles an item of furniture as opposed to an electrical appliance. Its designer, Jaehyo Lee, recognized that furniture isn’t as simple as ‘one-size-fits-all’; by incorporating a modular design, this friendly air purifier can be transformed to suit the environment it is destined to be placed within and further harmonize with the existing furnishings.
In keeping with Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s description of architecture as frozen music, this post is quite literally a playlist of the best architectural designs from 2019.
One of the A’ Design Awards’ most strong categories, Architecture sees a lot of entrants as well as winners from around the globe. We handpicked some of the most beautiful, most intriguing, most inspirational, and definitely the most unique architectural pieces from the A’ Design Award and Competition’s winners list of 2019. Ranging from conceptual designs to residential units, to religious spaces, offices, museums, and retail spaces, the A’ Design Award covers architecture in its entirety, aside from a wide roster of other design categories. Not only does winning an A’ Design Award look great on an architect’s resume, it also brings a lot of repute and focus to the work, uplifting the value of both the designer and the design!
The A’ Design Award is currently accepting entries for the 2020 edition of the award program, so go ahead and give your work and career the push it deserves!
If you’re an architect looking to participate in the A’ Design Awards 2020, click here to register. Hurry! The regular deadline ends on 30th September!
01. Arbor Arena Parametric Pavilion by Selvagen Taking inspiration from low-poly structures, the Arbor Arena Pavilion is a neat exploration in parametric architecture that uses a series of triangles to create a geodesic dome shape, complete with windows and even a star-shaped skylight on the top. Designed for a temporary event in 2018, the modular structure is now being rebuilt as a permanent addition to the Botanical Garden in Recife, Brazil.
02. Cohen Chapel by Joaquim Portela Featured on Yanko Design back in 2016 as the Aurelios Chapel, Joaquim Portela’s chapel design explores something absolutely unique in terms of architecture, leave alone religion-inspired architecture. A chimney-esque detail acts as an abstract steeple on the outside, but in fact works as a skylight, diverting a strong shaft of light into the chapel to beautifully illuminate the altar.
03. Cecilip Facade by Dante Luna G. Designed as a facade for a plastic surgery clinic, the organic shape of this facade takes inspiration from the undulating curves of human skin. Its reflective nature is designed to be instantly recognizable but also attractive, in a way being a metaphor for what the clinic hopes to achieve for the patients that visit. The facade was made locally and is composed of more than three thousand profiles of stainless steel with mirror finish, each with two pieces cut CNC and armed with 3M structural tape, similar to those used in aviation, on a metal support structure.
04. Volcano Eyes Observation Platform by Jaskó+Vági Építész Kft. Created using a basic metal framework, and filled with the rocks found in and around the area, this elevated observation platform was made in May 2018 for the Nemrut Volcano Eyes Competition, to help view a 360 degree panoramic view to the Nemrut Volcano’s caldera or crater. An upper part of the structure acts as a platform for viewing the volcano, while the lower half transforms as a shelter for the people who decide to camp or spend the night at the location.
05. Liberty Stadium by Aysan Moosvai and Farzad Saeidi Designed to be equal parts alluring (from both the top as well as bottom, and from inside and out) as well as lightweight, the Liberty Stadium uses a combination of support structures and tensegrity to create its design. Designed around the popularity and pull of football, the structure relies on being able to create spaces for crowds to navigate easily, preventing bottlenecks and enabling circulation of the public. The project started in October 2018 and finished in January 2019 in Tehran.
06. Old Palapye Museum by Beullah Serema For the record, this is what I imagine buildings in modern Martian societies will look like. A combination of beautiful indigenous materials like the red rock along with futuristic styles and facades made of glass. The outstanding burnt brick church ruins stand proudly within perimeters of a rich historic site of the 19th century capital of the Bangwato tribe. Built in 1891 by the London Missionary Society, it was later abandoned after the royal King Khama III relocated his capital to another resource-rich site. Designed as a museum to showcase and preserve the past cultures and artifacts, the architect designed a museum and exhibition space by working with the existing ruins, so as to not override them but rather create a new life around them!
07. Wuxi Wanda Mall by WANDACTI and CCI Architecture Design & Consulting Co.,Ltd. Unusual for combining a rectangular footprint with its flower-esque inspiration, the Wuxi Wanda Mall has a rather unique aesthetic. The design inspiration of the project is derived from the Wuxi city flower “azalea”, and is designed to cover five different theme parks with five azalea petals respectively. The project is located in the main axis of Wuxi cultural tourism city, accommodating for shopping, catering, culture, entertainment and leisure.
08. Casa Ojala House by Beatrice Bonzanigo The term used to describe Casa Ojala is that it’s a ‘highly flexible house’, which immediately makes it quite an interesting concept in the first place. A sustainable, minimal, compact and flexible product for a new comfort, away from TV or air conditioning, the Casa Ojala blurs the lines between what’s indoors and what’s outdoors. The flexible house has two bedrooms, one with a double bed and one with a single bed, a bathroom, a terrace, a kitchenette and a living room, which can, in fact, be continuously transformed into one another or become a large outdoor platform, a house with no roof or even no floor. “The home becomes a surprise, a game, a theatre, fragrances and gestures. The landscape is its facade”, says Beatrice Bonzanigo. The project was patented in December 2017 in Milan, and was exhibited in Salone del Mobile in April 2019 in Milan.
09. M50 Art Hotel by Yun LU – MUDA-Architects Built in the musical town of Pingle in Sichuan, the M50 hotel actually abstracts a musical piece and turns it into architecture, pretty much canonizing Goethe’s quote of architecture being like frozen music. The external curved facade mimics the rhythmic movement of music and the bodily sway associated with it while the external curtain wall employs a horizontally subdivided aluminum plate, which closely resembles the texture of bamboo, as a hat tip to Sichuan’s bamboo culture.
10. Sailing Castle Pavilion by Cheng Tsung Feng Bringing the ship’s sails to land as a strong expression-piece, the Sailing Castle Pavilion is a quaint open space that reacts with its surroundings by billowing with the wind, while remaining static on land. Tapping into the feeling of seeing a fleet of boats and fishermen sailing out to see, or making their journey back to land, the pavilion hopes to create that feeling of awe, at looking at a vast number of sails billowing in the wind together. The interaction among people and the Sailing Castle is a representation of the prosperity of the fishery industry, communal unity, expectation, and joy.
Impressed? Inspired? Go ahead and grab a spot for your own designs at the A’ Design Award and Competition 2020! Click here to Register Now! Hurry! The regular deadline ends on 30th September!
Promising yet again to cover the best in design across all disciplines, the A’ Design Award and Competition‘s 2020 edition is now open for entries. Every year, the awards honor and celebrate designs and designers spanning over a hundred categories, ranging from Furniture, Architecture, Industrial Design, Consumer Electronics, Medical Design, Service Design and many other design domains. Gathering a jury of over 200 senior designers and educators from around the world, A’ Design Award is perhaps one of the most recognized platforms for true validation.
The A’ Design Awards were founded to be a Yellow-Pages of sorts for good designs and designers. Applicants range from non-designers to students, professionals, teams, to even vast organizations. Judges take an agnostic approach to the entries, evaluating them for their concept, execution, aesthetics, philosophy, and potential for social change. Winners of the A’ Design Award are then entitled to not just a trophy and certificate, but also vast PR campaigns, extensive publication on design blogs, and the ability to get their designs to millions of more eyes across the globe. Even participants find themselves on the winning side, because just registering for the A’ Design Award entitles participants to a free evaluation of their design, as well as an inclusion in the Business Network, as well as access to A’ Design Award’s free Design Fee Calculator that allows designers to accurately price their products and services.
At the end of the day, the awards annually plot the best work from around the world, creating an extensive map of good design from across the globe. A’ Design Awards’ program even ranks individual designers on an international scale, as well as provides scores for each country, creating value by allowing you to capture progress and even study design trends as they happen. Be a part of the most diverse international design competition there is! Registrations for the A’ Design Awards and Competition 2020 are now open!
A look at winners from A’ Design Award and Competition 2019
01. Flexpai Flexible Smartphone by Royole
Currently the first and only flexible smartphone to be shipped to the public (Samsung’s Fold was faulty, and Huawei had its own problems), the Flexpai is at the forefront of the bending-smartphone revolution! With an outward-bending screen that can be used in both folded and unfolded formats, the Flexpai innovates in a category that most company haven’t even properly set foot into!
02. Intermodality Desk by Attila Stromajer
Inspired by the prominent role and place of grand pianos in homes, the Intermodality desk is just as grand. With a design that follows the cues of the large instrument, the desk comes with a similar shape, size, and even features a large lid that opens sideways, like in a grand piano. Standing on three legs, like the musical instrument, the Intermodality desk is crafted from antiqued plywood, and features copper trimmings near the handles and at the base of the legs, adding a touch of finesse to the desk’s grand design.
03. Luminous Lighting + Sound System by Mohammad Hossein Namayandegi
A combination of light and sound, Luminous is a chandelier that also works as a speaker with 360° surround sound. The setup comprises a ring-shaped design with LEDs on the inside of the ring, casting an ambient glow across the room, while 20 audio drivers arranged around the outer part of the ring create a rich, immersive audio experience fitting for a grand ballroom or even a large living space.
04. Sidekick Notebook by Tan Mavitan
The Sidekick is quirky, but has logic to it. An A5 notebook looks small on your desk, but open it and it doubles in size, becoming an A4, and occupying precious real estate on your desk. The Sidekick has no such problem. Its unusual shape and diagonal spine allows it to open into an ‘L’ shaped notebook that can easily sit at the corner of your keyboard, or your mousepad, or even tablet. The notebook won’t serve well for sketching, but makes a good note-taking pad, offering both landscape and portrait writing areas. Take notes, make doodles, or probably even sketch on it if you can, the Sidekick is that one notebook you won’t buy and put away only because you’ll love keeping it on your table to occasionally take notes, and to perpetually show off.
05. Natede Air Purifier by Vincenzo Vitiello – Laboratori Fabrici
The Natede is a nifty planter/air-purifier hybrid that keeps the house green and the air clean! The core technology of Natede is phytoremediation, a NASA-developed technology that forces the air through the roots of the plant to amplify its natural purification power. Designed to work discreetly and with no need for external filters that need constant replacement, Natede conveniently purifies the air you breathe by getting the plant to absorb microorganisms, gases, and dust particles, while also adding a dash of fauna to your decor!
06. Tearista Automatic Tea Maker by Shilton Chong
The Tearista is a one-of-a-kind device that democratizes instant-tea-making the way the coffee-maker allowed households to automatically brew coffee every day. At the center of the Tearista (combination of Tea and Barista) is its kettle-and-brewer combo. The kettle or carafe holds the water in it, while a perforated brewer compartment holds the tea-leaves. A control panel at the base allows you to program the steep-time and water temperature, based on the leaves you’ve selected, and the machine does the rest. A mechanical arm descends the brewer into the kettle, immediately kickstarting the tea-brewing process. When the timer comes to an end, the brewer compartment ascends upwards, ending the brewing process and leaving you with a perfectly prepared vessel full of tea!
07. Quiett Induction Cooktop by Seokhyun Park and Dosun Shin
Quiett isn’t like most induction cooktops. While induction cooking is still relatively in its prime, Quiett takes it a step further, showcasing the future of culinary preparation. The Quiett uses wonderfully sleek induction modules that snap to one and other, conveying information to each other while also giving you the ability to lay your hob out in a format that fits your countertop. The cooking surfaces are slightly recessed, making sure your vessels don’t slip off the glossy glass surface easily, and Quiett’s most futuristic feature remains its screen, built into an area right beside one of the induction plates. The screen displays recipes, allowing you to cook and follow instructions at the same time, seamlessly taking you through the cooking process, and allowing you to create new dishes without breaking a sweat! I imagine the display could play videos too, helping cooks master new techniques and skills in the kitchen and create remarkably tasty food!
08. Supporting Umbrella by Li Purui
With a shape that looks like a splash of water and a yellow color that almost gives it the appearance of a mini-crown, the Supporting Umbrella solves two rather annoying problems with the umbrella experience. A. Stability, and B. Water dripping on the floor. The Supporting Umbrella retrofits onto most umbrella designs with the spoke at the end. It gives your umbrella a cute crown when open in the rain, and when you’re done, lets you stand the umbrella vertically on its tip. When placed vertically upside down, the Supporting Umbrella attachment uses a small concavity to collect all the water that drips off your umbrella, so that you’re not left with a pool of water on the floor every time you try to dry your umbrella out.
09. Shiny Movie Ticket by Li Peitong
The Shiny Movie Ticket is the perfect example of a simple idea that’s so revolutionary that it just absolutely warrants recognition. Designed to eliminate the need for people to constantly shine a light on their ticket stub to see which seat they’re supposed to sit in, the Shiny Movie Ticket comes with perforated numbers that tell you your row as well as seat number. It’s so remarkably simple I can’t believe no one’s ever done something like this. While movie halls need to remain dark for the projection to look bright and vivid, the Shiny Movie Ticket allows you to easily see your row and seat number by simply holding the perforated ticket to the illuminated cinema screen. Sheer simplicity, absolute genius.
10. Shell Sofa by Natalia Komarova
With a voluminous yet hollow frame, the Shell sofa is instantly visible. It is, in a strictly physical sense, minimalist (because it’s mainly hollow), but visually, the Shell sofa is almost pillowy, spacious, and a treat to look at. The sofa is a frame that curves from the left to the back and to the right, with space in between for cushions, or even two side tables if you remove the cushions at the extreme ends. It’s visually imposing, but still manages to look light and airy, thanks to its wickerwork of metal rods. The interwoven rods also create this moire effect that creates a dynamic optical illusion, making the Shell sofa’s body incredibly interesting to look at… and while we’re on the subject of interesting, the sofa comes with two small openings at the beginning and end of its structure, making it perhaps the most entertaining play area for a domestic cat. Good luck getting it out though once it goes inside!
There are times we come across designs that make us smack our heads and say – why didn’t I think of that?! This switch light is one of those designs! Working perfectly as ambient light, the switch rocks upwards, downwards, and rests in a neutral position. While in neutral, the light stays off, but the minute you rock it either upwards or downwards, it turns into an ambient lamp, casting light in the direction it’s been angled. Each person’s lighting choices are chosen to bring them comfort and joy. So why shouldn’t we look out for a lighting solution that matches all our needs? In this collection, we have designs that are actually lights that hold plants to rocket-shaped lamps that need to be pushed down to launch their light. So whatever your needs, I’m sure we have a design that meets your lighting needs!
Switch ambient lamp by Pasque D. Mawalla. While in neutral, the light stays off, but the minute you rock it either upwards or downwards, it turns into an ambient lamp.
38 Copper lighting for plant lovers by Bocci features large spheres are blown with a multitude of interior cavities, some deep enough to hold earth for cacti and succulent.
With Sir Jonathan Ive’s exit from Apple just days ago, it’s finally the end of an era that Steve Jobs envisioned back in the 90s. Ive left his design agency Tangerine to formally Apple in 1992, recruited by Jon Rubinstein at the time. It wasn’t until 1996, when Steve Jobs made a return to Apple (an almost-bankrupt company at the time), when Jonathan Ive’s career really took off. Along with Ive’s eye for design, and Jobs’ attention to need, detail, and usability, the two formed one of the most successful creative alliances in recent history, taking the company to a valuation of $665 billion in 2011, around the time of Jobs’ demise, and finally to the trillion dollar mark in 2018.
Ive’s journey at Apple can be distinctly broken down into these phases, that roughly fall into the decades too. We’re here to look at the work of Jobs through the lens of time, as he went from product to product and strength to strength with each passing decade. The video above provides a very rare look into Ive’s and Apple’s elusive design process, while the products below aim to codify and categorize Ive’s 27-year-long design journey with one of the most innovative companies on earth. Here’s a look at Jonathan Ive’s 27 years at Apple, in products.
1992-96 Jonathan Ive leaves Tangerine for Apple. Steve Jobs hasn’t made his comeback yet.
There honestly isn’t much to look at here. This was pre-Jobs comeback, when Apple was facing financial difficulties. Ive made his way from Tangerine to Apple, only to realize that most of the design team was being let go of. Rumor has it, he almost tried to quit around the same time, but was pep-talked into staying by Jon Rubinstein. Ive, under Apple, designed a few not-so-successful products at the time… like the Newton MessagePad, shown above. However, his experimentation with transparency (top right) led to a few breakthroughs later when Steve made a comeback.
1997-2011 Apple’s renaissance period under Jobs and Ive. Apple Design follows Dieter Rams.
Design flourished when Steve Jobs made a comeback in 1996. The iMac G3 and the iBook explored curves, and the use of transparency and translucency. Jobs was adamant that the insides of the computers be beautiful enough to showcase to the world, rather than make more white boxes. Ive’s design efforts went into making ‘computers sexy again’.
Ive’s obsession with transparency evolved further, while products that were previously curved, started taking on a more slick appearance. Shown above are the Apple Cinema Display, the iMac G4, and a rare non-Apple product, Harman Kardon’s Soundsticks that were designed by Ive!
Nothing put Apple more on the map than the iPod. It revolutionized everything, and truly made Jobs stand out as a visionary, and cemented Ive’s role in the company. The iPod also owed a big debt of gratitude to Dieter Rams, who’s design language at Braun truly began influencing Ive’s work. The circular jogdial, the no-nonsense design, the philosophy of “Form Following Function”, and the liberal use of white, all were owed to Dieter Rams. While naysayers saw this as Apple ‘not being original enough’, iPods flew off the shelves, and Apple finally became a household name.
As iPods grew popular, Ive strived hard to make them sleeker too. As a result, the Nano and the Shuffle were born. With an iPod for everyone, these came in a variety of formats, stored as many as 2000 songs, and now came in color! Another subtle innovation was that Ive discovered the material that would change the consumer tech industry forever… aluminium.
Aluminum allowed Ive to truly explore Apple’s new aesthetic of beautiful, premium, and sleek products. Aluminum was abundant, could be machined to precision, and Ive even devised a way of utilizing spare aluminum parts from the Mac Pro to make the MacBook bodies (discussed in Gary Hustwit’s Objectified). Ive pushed the limits to how beautifully sleek products could be made, and in 2008, Steve Jobs walked out on stage with a Manila envelope, carrying the world’s thinnest laptop within it… the iconic 19.4mm MacBook Air!
One more thing… arguably the three most important words in Apple’s history. The iPhone is considered to be Jobs and Ive’s magnum opus. So much is owed to the birth of the iPhone. Industries, companies, technologies, materials, the iPhone created them all. The first iPhone, introduced in 2007 was the first true smartphone. It came with a touchscreen you could use with your fingers, and boasted of Apple’s iOS and the birth of the app marketplace. Further iterations only grew better. The iPhone 4 came with a glass front and back, but a slick aluminum frame that made it one of the thinnest phones of its time. It was the perfect size (some still believe so even today) and had Siri, Apple’s voice AI. In 2012 came the iPhone 5, a reiteration of its successful predecessor, with a standard-setting aluminum unibody, a revolutionary 16:9 display, and the world’s first fingerprint sensor on a phone. The iPhone 5 was considered to be the last iPhone co-created by Jobs and Ive.
The iPad debuted in 2010, just a year before Jobs’ demise. Ive designed it to be the sleekest tablet on the market, following the footsteps of the iPhone and the MacBook Air, although the idea for the iPad came to Jobs much before the iPhone. Jony developed a device so iconic that it remained the only strong contender in the tablet market with practically no competition for roughly seven years.
2012-19 Apple finding its post-Jobs identity, & becoming a trillion dollar company.
The 2013 Mac Pro came at a time of uncertainty. Two years since the death of Jobs, Apple was looking for its next great product. The iPhone and the iPad proved to show how great Jobs was at envisioning new products. Apple hoped a redesigned Mac Pro would show people that Apple was still capable of innovation. Jonathan Ive’s redesign didn’t receive much praise, and was often referred to as the trashcan Mac, for its dustbin-shaped appearance. For the people that bought it too, the Mac Pro had quite a few problems, ranging from its heat issues, to the fact that it wasn’t easy to upgrade… a pretty necessary feature considering how much the 2013 Mac Pro cost.
The following year was one of redemption. Apple’s recent recruitments to the design team included designer Mark Newson and CEO of Yves Saunt Laurent, Paul Deneve. These two stalwarts aided Ive in building consumer electronics that were comparable to fashion items, with their sheer sense of style (and even a price tag to match). The Apple Watch was born, kicking off a wearables market. It featured a small screen, a touch-sensitive UI and a rotating crown, all encased in a remarkable aluminum body. The watch came with wireless charging, and featured a built-in heart-rate sensor… a feature that would soon define the Watch’s use-case. As a consumer-friendly medical wearable.
Among other noteworthy design achievements, Apple acquired Beats by Dre., a company that considered Robert Brunner’s Ammunition as their design partners (Brunner was an ex-Apple design lead). Alongside that, Ive’s team even designed the iPhone 6, a smartphone with an incredibly slick design that received mixed reviews, while also being one of the most sold smartphones in the world. Ive’s obsession with slim devices finally led to what became the Bendgate. The iPhone 6 was so thin, it would bend if kept in your back pocket. Apple eventually fixed the problem in the iPhone 6S with a stronger chassis and a harder aluminum alloy. The 6S also gave birth to the era of Rose Gold, a color that Apple debuted in 2015 which became a standard in almost all subsequent iPhones and even in the new MacBook Air.
Later in 2016, Apple announced the iPhone 7, which infamously ditched the headphone jack. The absence of a 3.5mm jack on the phone meant the release of the Airpods, Apple’s incredibly small truly wireless intelligent earbuds. Perhaps not the most consumer-friendly decision, the Airpods were a runaway business success. The Airpods were convenient, incredibly well-paired with the iPhone, and came with touch-sensitive surfaces that let you control playback as well as the iPhone’s core features without taking your phone out. The Airpods were sleek, well-built, and came with their own charging case that you could carry around with you. 2016 was also the year Apple killed ports on the MacBook, leaving just a USB Type-C port and a headphone jack (a strange decision there) on the side. The 2016 MacBook also ended the tradition of having glowing Apple logos on MacBooks.
2017 saw the release of the HomePod, Apple’s foray into the smart-speaker market. Ive pretty much revived the cylindrical design (of the Mac Pro) to create a powerful speaker capable of throwing out high-fidelity sound in all directions with equal intensity. The smart-speaker featured a touch-sensitive upper surface, and could respond to “Hey Siri”. Available in white and black, the HomePod came perhaps too late, with Amazon beating Apple to the smart-speaker market by three whole years.
Towards the end of 2017, Apple announced the AirPower, a tray capable of charging all of Apple’s wireless devices… simultaneously. The announcement was perhaps a little premature, considering two large things. A. The Airpods didn’t charge wirelessly, and B. The technology wasn’t perfected yet. Ive’s design showed how easy it was to lay your products on the AirPower mat and have them charge, but Apple’s engineering team couldn’t get it to work without heating up tremendously. The AirPower was finally shelved in 2019.
2017 also marked a full decade since the launch of Apple’s greatest product ever, the iPhone. Alongside the iPhone 8 (which was due at the time), Ive designed the anniversary iPhone, titled the iPhone X. With a stellar dual-lens camera capable of clicking portrait images with computational blurring, the iPhone X actually sold more than the 8, even with its $999 price tag… and its notch! The notch became a standard detail for almost all other smartphones to follow, as Ive’s vision for a truly bezel-less smartphone became more and more possible. It also meant saying goodbye to the good old TouchID and hello to Apple’s new FaceID, its revolutionary facial recognition system. The new iPhone was also a departure of sorts from Ive’s love for aluminium, since the metal wouldn’t support wireless charging.
The 2018 iPad Pro was the tablet every creative professional needed. With an incredibly powerful processor (as powerful as the Xbox One), a great camera, a redesigned stylus (that charged wirelessly), and virtually no bezels, the iPad Pro became a standard for the creative industry. It also came with a Type-C port, showing users exactly how versatile the tablet was designed to be, as it could be connected to pretty much any other device, and not be inhibited by Apple’s lightning charger.
As Apple’s hardware sales slowed down (nobody wanted to buy a new iPhone every year), the company finally made a pivot to services. The Apple Card was one of them. Machined out of titanium, the card was an exercise in sheer minimalism, thanks to Ive and the design team. it came with a machined Apple logo, and an etched name on the card… that’s it!
Ive’s last product at Apple, the Mac Pro sent quite a few mixed messages. At the time of his death, Jobs made it clear that Ive’s work was not to be interfered with, and he was answerable to no one. The Mac Pro 2019 was proof of Ive’s free reign. It came with a dual-machined airway system that gave the Mac Pro an appearance of a glorified cheese-grater, with an incredibly hefty price-tag. Apple’s trillion-dollar valuation, and Ive’s ability to design without any constraints resulted in one of the most talked about designs of the year so far… that’s until Ive finally put in his resignation along with Marc Newson to form LoveFrom, an independent design outfit that considered Apple as one of its top clients. Let’s see what the 2019 Apple October event has in store for us!
Bodies in seats
The job of moderating toxic content on social media is a daunting task. It also takes a massive psychological toll on those doing it. The Verge has first-hand accounts from the worst-performing Facebook mode...
Whether we agree to this in public or not, but all of us have spent some time watching Tidying Up with Marie Kondo and promising we will declutter just after the next episode! My personal experience was that I have too many items that ‘spark joy’ for me. Keeping this aside, minimalism is a trend that took the world by storm some time back. Be it Scandinavian, Danish or Japanese, there is something very unique and calming to see a design with clean, simple lines placed in a clutter-free environment. And as we did with the Part 1 of this series, we are sure this collection of minimally designed products will inspire you to enter this zen space.
Standing desks may be the rage right now, but we do spend most of our days sitting down. Staring with their initial 3-4 legged designs, the humble stool has come a long way with the designers experimenting on them. Our curation showcases all those experiments that did well, and they are so innovative! Running out of space – we have stools that pack flat and assemble without tools. Assembling is a concern – we have stools that assemble with a latch, a single screw as well as self-balancing stools for those of us worried about our health. You name it, this collection of designs has it all to keep your work, health and home space balanced perfectly.
Bicycles are the most eco-friendly mode of transport ever designed by humans as is possible, especially for smaller traveling distances in city life. It is a vehicle that creates zero emissions while keeping you healthy and with the addition of electric motors, they have added an element of ease or comfort to the cycling experience. The bicycle’s unique yet simple design works with its basic setup, but designers have spent a lot of time creating variations of the humble bicycle that will add features to it such as an additional retro boombox you can carry to the ever-popular urban favorite – a foldable bicycle. Our curation today walks you across unique bicycle designs that showcase different materials, features as well as designs, of which one is sure to appeal to you, and if not, these will surely inspire you to innovate and create your own design!
You must have heard of the basic human needs – food clothing and shelter? Well, one of the basic needs of every shelter is a chair! Available practically everywhere on the planet, the chair is one of the most versatile designs, ranging from the standard four legs, one seat design to chairs that have no legs at all, whatever your needs, we have a curated chair design to inspire you to innovate and create a chair that rocks the legs of every other chair design out there!