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Jony Ive talks new materials and Tim Cook's involvement in the creative process


As an addendum to its recent profile of Apple CEO Tim Cook, the New York Times on Monday published the full transcript from its interview with Apple designer Jony Ive.

The full interview contains a number of interesting tidbits, with Ive taking time to address issues as varied as the industrial design team he leads and Tim Cook's involvement in the creative process.

Responding to a question about what it's like working with Cook, Ive explains:

We meet on average three times a week. Sometimes those meetings are over in his space, sometimes here in the design studio. We all see the same physical object. Something happens between what we objectively see and what we perceive it to be. That's the definition of a designer – trying to somehow articulate what contributes to the way we see the object.

Ive also added that Tim Cook has long been a part of Apple's design culture of excellence that Steve Jobs helped establish.

Steve established a set of values, and he established preoccupations and tones that are completely enduring – and he established those principles with a small team of people. I've been ridiculously lucky to be part of it. But Tim was very much part of that team – for that last 15 or 20 years.

Concluding, Ive didn't divulge what he and the creative folks at Apple are currently working on, though he did note -- in classically vague Apple fashion -- that the work involves materials new to Apple.

I've worked for the last 15 or 20 years on the most challenging, creative parts of what we do. I would love to talk about future stuff – they're materials we haven't worked in before. I've been working on this stuff for a few years now. Tim is fundamentally involved in pushing into these new areas and into these materials.

Intriguing, especially in light of Eddy Cue's recent statement that Apple's 2014 product pipeline is the best he's seen in 25 years. Materials-wise, it remains to be seen what type of tricks Apple has up its sleeve, though it is worth noting that the company last year partnered up with GT Advanced Technologies to manufacture a lot of sapphire. Further, Apple last month renewed its exclusive right to use metal alloys from Liquidmetal Technologies.

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