Apple design guru receives knighthood

23 May 2012

Apple's chief designer Sir Jonathan Ive. Image from Wikimedia Commons

Apple’s chief designer shall now be referred to as Sir Jonathan Ive following his commendation at Buckingham Palace in London today.

Even if you aren’t familiar with Jonathan Ive by name, you’ve certainly seen his work – the iMac, MacBook Air, iPod, iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad – and Apple’s flagship products just wouldn’t be the same without him.

Now based in San Francisco, the award-winning industrial designer originally hails from east London. Having graduated with a bachelor of arts and an honorary doctorate from Newcastle Polytechnic (now Northumbria University), he later went on to set up a design company with three friends, called Tangerine.

One client of this small design agency was so impressed by Ive’s work that they offered him a job and, in 1992, he became an Apple employee.

Ive quickly rose through the ranks at Apple and, since 1996, has led the team that has designed some of the world’s most iconic products – some of which are on permanent display in museums worldwide, including MoMA in New York and the Pompidou in Paris.

Now, at 45, he is proudly positioned as Apple’s senior vice-president of industrial design, and is afforded more power than any other employee bar CEO Tim Cook, because Steve Jobs wanted it that way.

Ive became a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in 2005 and, today, Princess Anne presented him with the title of Knight Commander, Order of the British Empire (KBE) for services to design and enterprise.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.