Although Apple has been using Apple Park as its main stage for keynotes over these past two years, there are still a lot of things that people don’t know about it. Now, an exclusive report by Wallpaper shows more of the life inside Apple’s heart and the company’s design team.
Wallpaper was able to interview Evans Hankey, Apple’s VP of industrial design, and Alan Dye, VP of human interface design. They talk about the process of moving to Apple Park, Jony Ive and Steve Jobs’s influence to create the company’s new building, and how design has always been the core of Apple:
‘We care about making great products, but we’ve worked equally hard at making a great team and culture. A lot of that came from the beginning. Steve defined Apple by its design,’ says Dye. ‘We always remember him saying that design is not just a veneer. It’s not just how things look, it’s about how things work. After three years [at Apple Park], we couldn’t believe more in the vision of having one central Design Team across all Apple products.‘
While most of the products we see today were not made during these past three years, the Wallpaper interview gives Apple fans a chance to understand how the company develops new products, like the AirPods:
Dye and Hankey frequently use the word ‘humility’, especially when Apple is entering new market spaces. While new category killers such as Apple Watch and AirPods might appear effortless and fully formed from the outset, the work behind the scenes was staggering (…). When AirPods’ development began a decade or so ago, human factors researcher Kristi Bauerly found herself researching the ‘crazily complex’ human ear.
‘We moulded and scanned ears, worked with nearby academics, focusing on outer ears for the earbud design and inner ears for the acoustics,’ she says. Thousands of ears were scanned, and only by bringing them all together did the company find the ‘design space’ to work within. ‘I think we’ve assembled one of the largest ear libraries anywhere,’ Hankey says. ‘The database is where the design starts,’ Bauerly continues, ‘and then we iterate and reiterate.’
Even small things such as removing the plastic shrink-wrap from the iPhone box, which seems like an easy thing to just do, can also be a “paroxysm of self-examination within the [design] team.”
How can the unboxing experience be maintained? Can it be made more accessible? The problem was mulled over, pulled apart and ultimately solved with an elegant paper tab mechanism. The change will save around 600 metric tonnes of plastic over the life of the product.
The interview also covers Apple’s typography, its photography revolution, Apple Watch development, and how Apple Park transforms the life of the company. You can read the full interview here, as well as take a look at all the photos available.
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