Jonathan Ive portrait

"We are at the beginning of a remarkable time" says Apple's Jonathan Ive

News: Apple's reclusive head designer Jonathan Ive says the technological age in still in its infancy in his first in-depth interview in almost 20 years.

"We are at the beginning of a remarkable time, when a remarkable number of products will be developed," said Ive in an interview with John Arlidge of The Sunday Times.

"When you think about technology and what it has enabled us to do so far, and what it will enable us to do in future, we're not even close to any kind of limit," he said. "It's still so, so new."

During the interview, Ive revealed more details about the design process at the core of the Apple operation.

A team of 15 to 20 designers work on new projects in an all-white open-plan studio behind opaque glass. A large wooden bench hosts new products and one end is taken up with CNC machines used to create prototypes.

"Objects and their manufacture are inseparable," he said. "You understand a product if you understand how it's made."

"I want to know what things are for, how they work, what they can or should be made of, before I even begin to think what they should look like. More and more people do. There is a resurgence of the idea of craft."

Apple devices provoke such a strong response because they represent something rare, according to Ive who describes them as not just products but "a demonstration against thoughtlessness and carelessness".

And he described the widespread referencing and copying of Apple designs as straight "theft".

"What's copied isn't just a design, it's thousands and thousands of hours of struggle," he told the paper. "It's only when you’ve achieved what you set out to do that you can say, 'This was worth pursuing.' It takes years of investment, years of pain."

Ive also spoke publicly about his relationship with Apple’s visionary leader Steve Jobs for the first time since his death.

"So much has been written about Steve, and I don't recognise my friend in much of it," said Ive.

"Yes, he had a surgically precise opinion. Yes, it could sting. Yes, he constantly questioned. 'Is this good enough? Is this right?' but he was so clever. His ideas were bold and magnificent. They could suck the air from the room. And when the ideas didn’t come, he decided to believe we would eventually make something great. And, oh, the joy of getting there!"

Read a version of the full interview on Time Magazine's website.

Photography is by Marcus Dawes.