Jony Ive almost quit design as a student, according to Raleigh Chopper designer, Tom Karen


Jony Ive, over the past 15 years, has gradually claimed the title of the world’s most well-known industrial designer. His work includes the iconic original iMac, the iPhone, MacBook Air as well as a host of other products. His contribution to the design industry even convinced the Queen to hand him a Knighthood. But, it could have turned out entirely differently for Sir Jonathan “just call my Jony” Ive.

reliant scimitar

Reliant Scimitar, one of Tom Karen’s car designs.

Tom Karen, the industrial designer behind the Raleigh Chopper bicycle and Bond Bug car was asked to step in by a friend, Jony’s father, when Ive was considering quitting his design course in university.

The Telegraph has the scoop:

“I worked with his father [a silversmith who became a design technology teacher and later a schools inspector] on the panel of a design competition for students,” the 87-year-old said. “He got in touch with me a bit later and said, my son Jonathan’s at university in Newcastle and is thinking about giving up his industrial design course. Maybe you could revive his interest?”

As a result, Karen invited Jony to the Letchworth offices of Ogle, the company he was running between the early 60s and late 90s. As a result of the tour around the design company’s studios, Jony found his spark and decided to stick with his university degree.

Since those early days, Jony Ive has famously become Senior Vice President of Apple’s design, both hardware and software, and during Steve Jobs’ time became untouchable. He reported only to the late, great CEO. It’s strange to think it could have turned out entirely differently for Apple and for Jony if he hadn’t pursued his career path.

Source: The Telegraph

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