By Siva Om on Sat, 05/26/2012
The Godliness Of Sir Jonathan Ive
In the intriguing words of Sir Jonathan Ive: “We try to develop products that seem somehow inevitable. That leave you with the sense that that’s the only possible solution that makes sense... Our products are tools and we don’t want design to get in the way. We’re trying to bring simplicity and clarity."
“I think subconsciously people are remarkably discerning. I think that they can sense care. One of the concerns was that there would somehow be, inherent with mass production and industrialisation, a godlessness and a lack of care."
“I think it’s a wonderful view that care was important – but I think you can make a one-off and not care and you can make a million of something and care. Whether you really care or not is not driven by how many of the products you’re going to make.”
“We’re keenly aware that when we develop and make something and bring it to market that it really does speak to a set of values. And what preoccupies us is that sense of care, and what our products will not speak to is a schedule, what our products will not speak to is trying to respond to some corporate or competitive agenda. We’re very genuinely designing the best products that we can for people.”
There is a certain finesse and indefinable magic that comes with Apple's devices. From the opening of their packaging to their intuitive ease of use and overall cool-factor, Apple's products speak to us on both a subconscious and obvious level, appealing to our inherent sense of beauty and our regard for finely-crafted creativity. For those of us who are familiar with Apple products, this isn't Earth-shattering news, but it's good to be reminded. It's a healthy practice after all, to take a step back from our relationships (and yes, I do consider our interaction with our technology a relationship!) and assess them and look at them objectively, that we may step back into our involvement with a renewed sense of respect and appreciation.
The lead quote, from the recently knighted and somewhat reclusive design wizard at Apple, Sir Jonathan Ive, gives some insight into Apple's approach to its products and their intention in the world, and goes a long way to explain why we love and connect so intimately with Apple, and why I am even here now, writing this article. It's not simply because it's cool or trendy to use Apple devices, though it certainly is that. Nor is the depth of our connection with our iDevices due solely to the fact that Apple makes a high-quality product, arguably the best on the market.
As Ive points out, there are risks inherent in mass-production, and in being a mega-corporation. As he says, “One of the concerns was that there would somehow be, inherent with mass production and industrialisation, a godlessness and a lack of care."
Now, while I don't often bring spirituality into my tech journalism, I'm happy Ive did it for me. When one of the primary geniuses behind the iOS revolution and Steve Jobs' "spiritual partner" starts speaking implicitly of there being a godliness inherent in his paradigm-shifting designs, well, my ears perk up! In fact, I have to say, I am so grateful for what the iOS ecosystem has brought to both my life and humanity in general, for me the lines of "what is spiritual" have been blurred as iOS is playing a part in tuning us all to a higher frequency, it would seem. And isn't is always true that there is a risk of loosing touch with a certain quality-of-care, and more significantly, with the awareness that EVERYTHING, ALWAYS, is worthy of our highest attention and care? I know in my own life I put as much love, devotion, awareness and attention into whatever service I happen to be offering as I'm possibly able. I appreciate a company that does the same.
The way I see it, this world we live in is not quite the way it appears to be. External appearances can be deceiving, and sometimes our consciousness can use a crutch as it evolves and grows. Like Steve Jobs said, sometimes you just gotta visit an ashram or take a little LSD.
Who but a dreamer a time-traveller or a visionary would've imagined, a short while ago, how interconnected our lives would have become. We can virtually teleport to any where in the world at any time. All information, from the mundane and trivial to the sublime and sacred can be found at our fingertips. Truly, we live in a world where our rate of evolution seems to be increasing exponentially in such a way as to have me suspicious that before long we may be able to teleport not just virtually, but in "reality"!
With Ive's words, it's brought to the forefront of my awareness, the simple fact that everything we perceive is infused with an unnamable, infinite energy that vibrates eternally, at a higher frequency than our senses can perceive, and that how we knowingly and unknowingly interact with this limitless, all-pervasive, vibrating energy determines to a large extent our experience in this world. Indeed, as Steve Jobs seemed well-aware of, this invisible and intangible force in this universe is a very real thing! Advanced modern sciences such a Quantum Physics, Cosmology and Epigenetics are only beginning to grasp the reality of this universe. In a nutshell, Ive is indicating an awareness of the fact that the love and energy we put into our lives and our work, can dramatically effect the end result.
It would seem to me that as long as Ive is on board, Tim Cook can be the ingenious corporate strategist that he is, while Ive continues onward with a shared vision he and Steve Jobs brought to light and nurtured into a line of technological products that have quite literally altered our reality.
The Mayans have a beautiful expression. They say: En Lach Ech. Which translates to "You are another me, I am another you". It's 2012, and that's something to think about. Thanks to Sir Jonathan Ive, for the reminder to tune into godliness!
Sir Ive rarely grants interviews, and this one is interesting in it's entirety. Click here to access the entire interview.
Thank you for reading.