Apple design team shows off 'quiet and calming' Apple Park

Posted:
in General Discussion
Previously unseen images of the interior of Apple Park have now been revealed by the company's design team, as they discuss working in the iconic building.

View from a fourth floor corridor at Apple Park
View from a fourth floor corridor at Apple Park


Four years after Jony Ive described Apple Park to Wallpaper*, the publication has returned to learn how the completed building feels to its design staff. Evans Hankey, vice president of industrial design, and Alan Dye, vice president of human interface design, say that it's only after a few years that they've come to appreciate the building.

"It's just so quiet and calming," Hankey told Wallpaper*. "We never really understood what that would mean for us until we'd been here for a while. It's been designed for serendipitous meetings as well as collaboration."

The design team moved in to Apple Park three years ago, and the intention from the start was that the whole team would work together.

"We can have industrial designers sat next to a font designer," said Jony Ive back in 2017, "sat next to a sound designer, who is sat next to a motion graphics expert, who is sat next to a colour designer, who is sat next to somebody who is developing objects in soft materials."

Hankey and Dye say that this is exactly what has happened, but also that it took more work than had perhaps been imagined.

Evans Hankey (red top, behind iMacs) leads a design discussion in Apple Park
Evans Hankey (red top, behind iMacs) leads a design discussion in Apple Park


"We knew very much that this was a massive opportunity, but we also knew that it also had to be more than just adjacencies," said Hankey. "We got to where we were as a team because of our cultures and our processes."

"It was a challenge, not an automatic win," she continued. "It really took a lot of time to try new things out and be a little bit outside our comfort zones."

"We care about making great products, but we've worked equally hard at making a great team and culture," added Dye. "A lot of that came from the beginning. Steve defined Apple by its design."

"We always remember him saying that design is not just a veneer. It's not just how things look, it's about how things work," he continued. "After three years, we couldn't believe more in the vision of having one central Design Team across all Apple products."

Discussing typography in an Apple Park meeting room
Alan Dye (blue top), discussing typography in an Apple Park meeting room


The full Wallpaper* interview touches on how this approach has benefited the design of products such as the Apple Watch. It also, though, reveals an Apple tradition.

"We have this tradition of making things for one another at Christmas," says Hankey. "It's about that joy of making and joy of giving. It's something that's come from the culture of the team."

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 1,990member
    I love cathedrals. 
    But I wouldn't want to work in one.
    These three pictures at least convey the message of grand architecture, not comfortable work environment. The scale is too big, the scenes too stark, the surfaces too hard. The building was designed for Steve Jobs, and the stockholders to admire, not the person who needs to put in eight hours designing a battery mount, or writing code for a mouse driver. Just like the Cathedrals were designed for the Church Hierarchy, not the people who actually arrived on Sunday. 
    It's a nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to work there.
  • Reply 2 of 12
    fred1fred1 Posts: 935member
    Architecture plays an important role unlit lives, whether we realize it or not. It should facilitate the tasks that take place within it, provide not only shelter but also comfort, and even inspire people to do great things. If the design team that works in Apple Park is inspired and able to work well, then I don’t think an outsider is in a position to question that. I find cathedrals to be very awe inspiring and to give a glimpse into something greater than myself, not oppressive. 
    Spitbathbyronl
  • Reply 3 of 12
    mike1mike1 Posts: 2,958member
    DAalseth said:
    I love cathedrals. 
    But I wouldn't want to work in one.
    These three pictures at least convey the message of grand architecture, not comfortable work environment. The scale is too big, the scenes too stark, the surfaces too hard. The building was designed for Steve Jobs, and the stockholders to admire, not the person who needs to put in eight hours designing a battery mount, or writing code for a mouse driver. Just like the Cathedrals were designed for the Church Hierarchy, not the people who actually arrived on Sunday. 
    It's a nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to work there.
    Don't know how you can jump to that conclusion. Not one of those images show an individual work space. The first is clearly a lobby, hallway or some other common area.
    The second and third look like they are parts of a very nice design center. The images show spaces where groups of people come together to look at and discuss whatever they need to discuss or use equipment/tools that might not necessarily be in their workspace.

    Nobody "writing code for a mouse driver" is working in those areas or even in that department.

    Spitbathbyronl
  • Reply 4 of 12
    mac_dogmac_dog Posts: 968member
    DAalseth said:
    I love cathedrals. 
    But I wouldn't want to work in one.
    These three pictures at least convey the message of grand architecture, not comfortable work environment. The scale is too big, the scenes too stark, the surfaces too hard. The building was designed for Steve Jobs, and the stockholders to admire, not the person who needs to put in eight hours designing a battery mount, or writing code for a mouse driver. Just like the Cathedrals were designed for the Church Hierarchy, not the people who actually arrived on Sunday. 
    It's a nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to work there.
    Have you ever worked there? I have. It was amazing! So…your opinion. Not everyone wants to work in a padded cell. 
    kurai_kageSpitbathbyronlmariowinco
  • Reply 5 of 12
    M68000M68000 Posts: 442member
    It is impressive.  Also, most likely energy efficient and very cool hidden underground parking lot.  I flew from east coast a few years ago to visit the visitors center and take numerous pics and just hangout for a few days in Cali…  All that said,  I really don’t know if I would want to work in a circular office and it sounds like there may be too much of the glass walls.  Would really have to be there in person inside of course to understand how it would feel to be there working.  If offered position out there would have to consider moving out there of course.  Only people who have been on the inside truly know.
    edited December 2021 byronl
  • Reply 6 of 12
    I'll take this over the old ATG digs any day.  
  • Reply 7 of 12
    prolineproline Posts: 202member
    DAalseth said:
    Cathedrals were designed for the Church Hierarchy, not the people who actually arrived on Sunday. 
    I don't know where you got that- you've been reading some sort of anti-religious propaganda I guess. To get good acoustics, the ceiling has to be at least as high as the building is wide. You know, so the "people who actually arrived on Sunday" could hear. In order for the illiterate "people who actually arrived on Sunday" to be able to understand, things had to be shown visually via sculptures, paintings, and stained glass windows. To be able to see those visual lessons there had to be light. Since candles can't light a space that big very well that meant the biggest possible windows which lead to innovations such as gothic buttresses.

    The design constraints above pretty much entirely made cathedrals what they are and are all about meeting the needs of "people who actually arrived on Sunday". People didn't toil away for centuries making cathedrals purely to please some bishop.
    Spitbathfred1mike1byronlmariowinco
  • Reply 8 of 12
    Has anyone fallen asleep at work yet?
    edited December 2021
  • Reply 9 of 12
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,906member
    Empty.
    They should go back to their creative roots and build 10,000 garages for employees to work out of.
  • Reply 10 of 12
    I worked at Apple long before they built their huge beautiful campus.  I worked out of one of the Bandley buildings.  Looking at the recent images of the new campus, I am exceedingly impressed.  I think what Jobs and crew built is fitting for the company that Apple is.  There really was no other way.  It's a statement piece, and I hear their messages loud and clear.  I cannot wait to visit some day.
    edited December 2021 Spitbathbyronlmariowinco
  • Reply 11 of 12
    mike1 said:
    Don't know how you can jump to that conclusion. Not one of those images show an individual work space. The first is clearly a lobby, hallway or some other common area.
    The second and third look like they are parts of a very nice design center. The images show spaces where groups of people come together to look at and discuss whatever they need to discuss or use equipment/tools that might not necessarily be in their workspace.

    Nobody "writing code for a mouse driver" is working in those areas or even in that department.

    Indeed, they are in the 'pods' aka loud cubicles. There are reasons loads of employees are complaining about the office work environment. For the same reasons Johny Srouji's teams explicitly do not want to work there.
  • Reply 12 of 12
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,945member
    DAalseth said:
    I love cathedrals. 
    But I wouldn't want to work in one.
    These three pictures at least convey the message of grand architecture, not comfortable work environment. The scale is too big, the scenes too stark, the surfaces too hard. The building was designed for Steve Jobs, and the stockholders to admire, not the person who needs to put in eight hours designing a battery mount, or writing code for a mouse driver. Just like the Cathedrals were designed for the Church Hierarchy, not the people who actually arrived on Sunday. 
    It's a nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to work there.
    It's not like that.

    While I can't comment on the interior of Apple's spaceship, I did enter the bowels of an Apple office years ago to visit a friend who is high-up the Apple corporate ladder.  In addition to it being very well illuminated, spartan-clean, and "fresh", the workers all had their comfortable shared offices, lots of light, and places to gather and meet.  I found it very welcoming and as a coder myself, I would have been very relaxed to work in such a setting.  These settings one never sees when seeing photos of Apple's interior.  
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