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Apple Park by Foster + Partners

"We didn't make Apple Park for other people" says Jonathan Ive

Apple's chief designer Jonathan Ive has hit back at the "utterly bizarre" criticisms of the controversial Apple Park, and is returning to managing the brand's product design teams.

While welcoming criticisms of the tech company's products, Ive jumped to the defence of its new ring-shaped campus in Cupertino, which he worked on with architecture firm Foster + Partners.

"We didn't make Apple Park for other people," he said. "So a lot of the criticisms are utterly bizarre, because it wasn't made for you! And I know how we work and you don't!"

"I think Apple Park has a very specific role. It's not a watch. It's our house, where we go to work together...," Ive added. "Of course for people to have strong views and criticisms of the products they use; we make them for other people."

Jony Ive RCA appointment
Jonathan Ive, Apple's chief design officer, has rebuffed the "utterly bizarre" criticisms of Apple Park

The British designer made the comments during an interview with Fast Company editor-at-large Rick Tetzel at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington DC last month, when he spoke about how the new campus is crucial to helping Apple grow and evolve.

"I can't think of another time in the past, or imagine another time in the future, where we get to try to make something that is for us," the British designer added. "Not to indulge in a ghastly selfish way. We made it for us to help us be better, to make better products."

Ive's team will be one of the last to move into the giant building. He said he is excited about the open-plan and shared office spaces that will allow different design teams, like industrial designers and user-interface designers, to work closer together.

Apple Park
The controversial campus was completed earlier this year, when Ive admitted that he was "anxious" about its reception

"An industrial designer will be sitting next to a font designer, who will be sitting next to a sound designer, who will be sitting next to a motion graphics designer, and a haptics expert, and somebody who is used to working on three-dimensional figures that are animated, next to a user interface expert, with digital model makers and physical real-world model makers," he said.

"I'm really terribly excited about what that's going to lead [to]."

Apple Park marks a huge milestone for the company, and has opened in stages over the year. But the project has been marred by controversy, after a scathing review by Wired magazine and reports that some Apple employees were threatening to quit over their dislike of the workspace layouts.

Ive admitted that he was anxious about the building's reception during a tour earlier this year, when he described it as "nice".

Apple Park by Foster + Partners nearing completion
Criticisms of Apple Park included a scathing review from Wired magazine, which said it "sucked"

Last week, it was announced that the designer will return to a more hands-on role in managing the company's hardware and software divisions.

"With the completion of Apple Park, Apple's design leaders and teams are again reporting directly to Jony Ive, who remains focused purely on design," said a statement released by Apple last week.

Ive was promoted to the position of chief designer officer in 2015, while the building was under construction, and passed over many of his managerial duties to Richard Howarth and Alan Dye to allow him to travel more.