Are Jonathan Ive's designs over-rated?

When it comes to product design of our times, Apple's Jonathan Ive is a world leader. He was instrumental in designing almost all of Apple's fate changing products from iPod to the latest Macbook Airs, OSX and iOS 7. We recently wrote about the #-Link-Snipped-# Sir Ive designed. Today, I stumbled upon a desk designed by Jonathan Ive (for real) -

I've began wondering if these designs are over-rated? First, there's nothing special or 'fascinating' about the table, or the camera or even the 'flat' icons and overall colors Ive chose for iOS. Yet, they've been treated like the design standards. Let's make it simple - his designs are - SIMPLE. If the simple is the new 'awesome', then we'll have to give it to Mr. Ive.

I'd like this discussion to go beyond 'yes' or 'no' type comments. It's a fact that Ive's designs have led others to think differently (or may more uncomplicatedly). If you like Ive's designs and think they redefine everything - you'll have to convince others. If you agree with the topic; share why simplicity is what we need?


  • Pensu
    Haha, I thought the same when people started praising him for iOS7. And I agree with you, he goes with simplicity (read making things flat!), he isn't doing anything "awesome". May be we have seen too much of complex stuff, so now we want simplicity! Personally I think Ive is famous because he is working for Apple and you know how Apple fanboys react whenever they launch anything new!

    And frankly speaking there is nothing great about that desk, until unless it breaks itself and becomes batmobile, then obviously it's awesome!
  • Ramani Aswath
    Ramani Aswath
    I always vote for simplicity. I do not use any Apple product. So cannot comment much about Ive's work.
    I remember buying one of the first Sinclair Spectrum computers in 1982. It ran a basic program of 1 or 2 kb size (Developed by Bill Gates I was told) that showed a Martian landscape flowing below a low flying observer. I had used it a lot and had lot of fun developing various math games like pin and thread pictures, spirographs and such.
    There was also the hand held calculator from Sinclair using the reverse Polish notation for calculations.
    I still admire the simplicity of his creations.

    Prof. Victor Papanek, a messiah of design (one of my heroes) was a staunch supporter of simplicity.

    Aesthetics is probably important but as an adjunct. In all my work I spend a lot of time to simplify all designs.
  • Sarathkumar Chandrasekaran
    Sarathkumar Chandrasekaran
    I vote for simplicity as the major criteria which helps in attracting/luring people towards it.its a bar type with sturdy and metallic look that made apple a great competitor for other leading manufacturers.Only gadget freaks love complexity in gadgets and if you want to be a winner, just build a simple look gadget with good features and fix the price to match your brand value because people always want gadgets to replicate status.
    Ondesk:I don't see any innovation in desk by apple designer but it is simple and cute.

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