Jonathan Ive

Dezeen's top design quotes of 2014

Dezeen editor Anna Winston chooses her top design quotes of 2014, including Jonathan Ive on the "tragic" state of education and Marcel Wanders on the problem with "virtual design".


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"The design industry is really pathetic" – Marc Newson

Prolific London-based designer Marc Newson was named as the latest addition to Apple's design team in September. Months earlier at the launch of his new eyewear collection, he told Dezeen the fashion world "laughs at" industrial designers while Google Glass makes the wearer look like "a bit of an idiot".

"The design industry is really pathetic in terms of how it approaches manufacturing and how it brings things to market," he said.

"I'm not talking about Apple, I'm talking about furniture designers and what happens during the Milan fair. If they took note of the way that the fashion world brings things to market, with such extraordinary efficiency, they could learn an enormous amount." Read the full story » 


Rolf Fehlbaum Vitra portrait

"All the design companies together make 10% of what Ikea makes" – Rolf Fehlbaum

The owner of Swiss design brand Vitra was in London in May for a panel discussion at Clerkenwell Design Week, where he emphasised the tiny scale of the design industry: "All the design companies together make 10% of what Ikea makes," he said.

He later told Dezeen that design brands need to remain small to succeed and need "a romantic person" at the helm.

"As a design company leader you are a romantic person because you believe you can do things for the world through design, which to an outsider sounds completely ridiculous," said Fehlbaum. "But we believe it." Read the full story »


Marcel Wanders portrait

"It's difficult for a company to be anywhere interesting in a world that is so dominated by prototypes and great and bright ideas" – Marcel Wanders

In April, Dutch designer Marcel Wanders warned that "virtual design" was causing problems for furniture companies, with the proliferation of computer renderings and prototypes on sites like Dezeen making real products "look extremely boring",

"You are so able to present every crazy idea as if it is reality, the whole universe of communication is so strong," said Wanders. "But now it's difficult for a company to be anywhere interesting in a world that is so dominated by prototypes and great and bright ideas."

"The Dezeens of this world are extremely inspirational, but have no realistic dimension any more," he added. Read the full story »


Interview Paola Antonelli

"Not all design is for the general good" – Paola Antonelli

Speaking to Dezeen after her lecture at the What Design Can Do conference in Amsterdam, Paola Antonelli, senior curator of design at New York's Museum of Modern Art, said that the creation of the first 3D-printed gun had upturned the notion of design as a force for good.

"I've always thought that design and designers live by a moral code of conduct, almost like a doctor's Hippocratic Oath to do no harm," she said

"When the 3D-printed gun came out I was in shock and suddenly my view of design as something that does good for the masses was uprooted," she said."I used to think of design as a benign force, but of course not all design is for the general good and we would be naive to believe so." Read the full story »


Comic Sans

"People who don't like Comic Sans don't know anything about design" – Vincent Connare

The Comic Sans typeface has been described as "one of the most popular and despised typefaces in existence". t's creator Vincent  Connare defended his design in an exclusive interview with Dezeen.

"I think people who don't like Comic Sans don't know anything about design," he said. "They don't understand that in design you have a brief."

"Anybody who says they would not like to design a typeface that makes such an impact and is used by so many people and on so many products, is lying to themselves. I would love to make something again that everyone loved and others would hate." Read the full story »


Tony Fadell portrait

"Over the next ten years, everything that has a cord is going to have data in it" – Tony Fadell

The "internet of things" has been hyped as one of the most significant changes coming to the world of everyday design. But Tony Fadell, CEO of connected home products brand Nest, told Dezeen it was just a term invented "to get people buzzing about something that there's no definition of."

"I think over the next ten years, everything that has a cord is going to have data in it," said Fadell, whose company that was bought by Google for $3.2 billion earlier this year.

"Nest as a company is really about making the conscious home," he said. "It's about addressing those unloved products in the home and bringing them into the connected world. It’s about being able to give you a product that you like to look at, to have on the wall, that you're proud to look at and don't want to hide away." Read the full story »


Kenneth Grange

"They've been so bloody ruthless that you almost get no choice in the matter" – Kenneth Grange

Legendary British industrial designer Kenneth Grange accused tech giant Apple of being "bloody ruthless" and turning Modernism into "good commerce", in an interview with Dezeen.

"It's a game they're playing and it's an absolutely straightforward, commercial, ruthless game, and it's dressed up nicely because they've got some talented people in their employ," said the 86-year-old, who was knighted in 2013 for services to design.

"There are probably few companies around now that absolutely answer the prospect that Modernism is good commerce. They've been so bloody ruthless that you almost get no choice in the matter."

He also said that mobile technology was turning people into "zombies". Read the full story »


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"There's no better background than an education through eBay" – Will Hobhouse

The head of leading British furniture retailer Heal's lashed out at design schools for failing to teach business skills, during a talk at this year's London Design Festival.

"I think a lot of the colleges are catastrophic at the business part of any course," he said. "For designers, the really tricky thing is making a living."

"Most people don't last long in retail unless they grubbily want to sell stuff. All of us really sell stuff and there's no better background than an education through eBay probably." Read the full story »


Jaime-Hayon-portrait

"If I listen to the market, I'll be designing crap" – Jaime Hayon

Speaking to Dezeen at the Milan furniture fair in April, Spanish designer Jaime Hayon called on designers and brands to "ignore the market" and pursue quality rather than trying to please the masses.

"What people in Dubai, India, the Middle East and Russia want, is that what rules? Is that what [everyone] wants?" he asked.

"If I listen to the market, I'll be designing crap because many times it's not good taste, it's excessive." Read the full story »


Jonathan Ive

"That's just tragic, that you can spend four years of your life studying the design of three dimensional objects and not make one" – Jonathan Ive

Apple's soft-spoken senior vice president of design Jonathan Ive rarely speaks in public, but in November this year he visited the Design Museum in London for a conversation with the museum's founder Deyan Sudjic.

Dezeen was in the audience to hear him attack design schools for failing their students. "So many of the designers that we interview don't know how to make stuff, because workshops in design schools are expensive and computers are cheaper," he said.

"That's just tragic, that you can spend four years of your life studying the design of three dimensional objects and not make one." Read the full story »