Archive for October 26th, 2011

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Art? Technology? Design?

October 26, 2011

Steve Jobs

Lynn Neary, from NPR interviewed the President of Rhode Island School of Design, John Maeda, after the death of Steve Jobs. Below is an excerpt from the interview:

NEARY: So how will Steve Jobs be remembered by designers such as yourself?

I think that Steve Jobs will be remembered as the designer who put design in the map of technology, which has transformed our lives. I think without him everything would be quite different.

How would you characterize his design style?

MAEDA: Well, it goes back to my beginnings where I was an Apple II owner. I remember buying the first Macintosh, getting on a plane to go to my first year at MIT. At MIT, all my upper classmen friends had IBM PCs, which was the macho computer. And I had the sissy computer. And what I could see is that they saw it as a sissy because it draws pictures. Who needs pictures? It looks strange. Why does it have to look strange?

And so I think that he was showing to the technology era, the people around it, that it wasn’t about faster, bigger, etcetera. It was having something that makes an emotional connection to people.

If you’d like to read more of the piece please click here.

Tonight on my way home while listening to NPR I heard the interview with Walter Isaacson about the biography he wrote on Steve Jobs. The book was just released on Monday, just three weeks after Jobs passed away.

Jobs’ attention to detail on his creations was unrivaled, says Isaacson. Though he was a technologist and a businessman, he was also an artist and designer.

“[He] connected art with technology,” explains Isaacson. “[In his products,] he obsessed over the color of the screws, over the finish of the screws — even the screws you couldn’t see.” Even with the original Macintosh, he made sure that the circuit board’s chips were lined up properly and looked good. He made them go back and redo the circuit board. He made them find the right color, find the right curves on the screw. Even the curves on the machine — he wanted it to feel friendly.

If you’d like to read this entire article please click here.

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