Photo offers rare glimpse into Apple's design studio

Posted:
in General Discussion edited August 2014
Documentary filmmaker Gary Hustwit has posted a photograph of Jonathan Ive somewhere inside Apple's design studio, a facility rarely exposed to the general public.



"We did a follow-up interview with Jony Ive at Apple in California last week, and enjoyed the opportunity of filming inside Apple's design facilities," Hustwit wrote on a website promoting an upcoming film.



"I felt like Charlie in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," he added, "except everything was made of shiny aluminum instead of candy. *And there were no oompa loompas."



Hustwit is working on a documentary called Objectified that will examine industrial design. *The film is described as "a look at the creativity at work behind everything from toothbrushes to tech gadgets."



Hustwit's other credits include a documentary about the band Wilco, one filmed during a Death Cab for Cutie tour, and another documentary about electronic music pioneer Robert Moog.



Apple design chief Jonathan Ive somewhere in Apple's design studio | Source: Objectified



His documentary about graphic design and typography, Helvetica, premiered in 2007.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 47
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Looks more like a machine shop than a design studio. Presumably, it's the prototype shop.
  • Reply 2 of 47
    kasperkasper Posts: 941member, administrator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    Looks more like a machine shop than a design studio. Presumably, it's the prototype shop.



    Looks like a bunch of waterjets...
  • Reply 3 of 47
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kasper View Post


    Looks like a bunch of waterjets...



    I see at least four machines that look like vertical milling machinines, one for sure against the back wall, the machine doors are open.
  • Reply 4 of 47
    stepstep Posts: 11member
    Wish our granite tabletops were on wheels like that.
  • Reply 5 of 47
    virgil-tb2virgil-tb2 Posts: 1,416member
    Cant wait.

    I love all those topics too so chances are I would like the movie when it comes out.



    Well except for "Death Cab for Cutie."

    ZOMG what an over-rated noisy horrible band that is!



    They are the only purchase from iTunes I regret so far and I buy a *lot* of music.
  • Reply 6 of 47
    I recall the promotional video for the Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh had a lot of shots of Ive & crew working on that design, but that was a long, long time ago, and probably a more than a little stylized for the cameras. So yes this is a rare look at Apple process, along with Apple's recent video about the unibody aluminum MacBooks.
  • Reply 7 of 47
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kasper View Post


    Looks like a bunch of waterjets...



    The fluid you always see is just the coolant for the cutting tools. Presumably you could cut almost anything with a water jet but only if you wanted to cut clear through the piece - not very practical for machining things to precise depths such as mortising out a MB case.
  • Reply 8 of 47
    kasperkasper Posts: 941member, administrator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    The fluid you always see is just the coolant for the cutting tools. Presumably you could cut almost anything with a water jet but only if you wanted to cut clear through the piece - not very practical for machining things to precise depths such as mortising out a MB case.



    If anyone can identify those machines, post about it here.



    K
  • Reply 9 of 47
    floccusfloccus Posts: 138member
    That room is probably the least interesting room of that whole oufit if Apple sees fit to allow video of it to be widely distributed. Still pretty sweet set up though. Probably puts some actual prototype design companies to shame.
  • Reply 10 of 47
    takeotakeo Posts: 415member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kasper View Post


    If anyone can identify those machines, post about it here.



    K



    Can't identify them... but they are not water jets... they are CNC milling machines.
  • Reply 11 of 47
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kasper View Post


    If anyone can identify those machines, post about it here.



    K





    The blue color is Bridgeport I think



    EDIT no that is wrong - it looks like Bridgeport is red
  • Reply 12 of 47
    zandroszandros Posts: 537member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    Looks more like a machine shop than a design studio. Presumably, it's the prototype shop.



    "Industrial design", perhaps?
  • Reply 13 of 47
    Well, water jets would be a good guess, but I am more inclined to say they are CNC machines. The fluid you see is cooling fluid for the cutting tips. What make they are is beyond me, but I have worked alongside machinists using very similar machines. Just a thought.



    ----------------

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    via FoxyTunes
  • Reply 14 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    The blue color is Bridgeport I think



    EDIT no that is wrong - it looks like Bridgeport is red



    Could they be Hurco's. They are blue.
  • Reply 15 of 47
    They look like a large 3D printer I once saw... takes ages to etch out the models.



    Here's a simpler one. Ooo, I sooooo want one of these:

    http://www.dimensionprinting.com



    http://www.desktopfactory.com/

    Next time I have a spare $5000 lying around the office...



    This looks like the business end of the design studio; little presentation space, no image on walls, nothing there for inspiration.
  • Reply 17 of 47
    haggarhaggar Posts: 1,568member
    I wonder if those hardware designers ever think about how Apple technicians are going to support Apple customers. Or maybe they just think that customer support is beneath them, so they don't give it a second thought. The current aluminum iMac is a service nightmare. Furthermore, Apple does not accept 24 inch iMacs for mail-in repair, even though they will accept a 30 inch Cinema Display. And this is the computer that Apple wants everyone to buy. Does Apple not have confidence in their own technicians?



    Whenever an Apple hardware designer comes up with a new design, he should be ordered to take it completely apart in front of the CEO, COO and any other person responsible for customer support. And not just take it apart in a sloppy way, but following all the same procedures and precautions as if he was working on an actual customer's unit. And then put it all back together again, following all the same precautions. If the hardware designer is unable to lead by example and do a disassembly+reassembly by himself, then he has no business expecting lower paid technicians to do his dirty work.
  • Reply 18 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Haggar View Post


    I wonder if those hardware designers ever think about how Apple technicians are going to support Apple customers. Or maybe they just think that customer support is beneath them, so they don't give it a second thought. The current aluminum iMac is a service nightmare. Furthermore, Apple does not accept 24 inch iMacs for mail-in repair, even though they will accept a 30 inch Cinema Display. And this is the computer that Apple wants everyone to buy. Does Apple not have confidence in their own technicians?



    Whenever an Apple hardware designer comes up with a new design, he should be ordered to take it completely apart in front of the CEO, COO and any other person responsible for customer support. And not just take it apart in a sloppy way, but following all the same procedures and precautions as if he was working on an actual customer's unit. And then put it all back together again, following all the same precautions. If the hardware designer is unable to lead by example and do a disassembly+reassembly by himself, then he has no business expecting lower paid technicians to do his dirty work.



    I am pretty sure the hardware designers know their machines inside out.

    I don't know about the imac but i think the new macbooks must be much easier to fix given the new unibody enclosure which replaces a lot of small parts.

    The same must be true about the iphone 3g, with the screws at the bottom and an easier to replace internal battery.
  • Reply 19 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Haggar View Post


    Whenever an Apple hardware designer comes up with a new design, he should be ordered to take it completely apart in front of the CEO, COO and any other person responsible for customer support.



    I suspect that is precisely what they do.
  • Reply 20 of 47
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post


    They look like a large 3D printer I once saw... takes ages to etch out the models.



    Here's a simpler one. Ooo, I sooooo want one of these:

    http://www.dimensionprinting.com



    http://www.desktopfactory.com/

    Next time I have a spare $5000 lying around the office...



    This looks like the business end of the design studio; little presentation space, no image on walls, nothing there for inspiration.



    It takes having a business to justify one, unless you're a hobbyist with some serious money and engineering & design skills. I want one of those things, I don't know at what point it would make sense. If I were offering it as a service, I wouldn't take one on unless I had at least a dozen solid customers asking for the service. The Dimension is the way to go, but even then, it's still slow and expensive. I don't know if Desktop Factory is good enough to use as a prototype service device.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post


    Could they be Hurco's. They are blue.



    For Hurco, the left front panel is blue, not the doors:



    http://www.hurco.com/USA/Products/Ma...ngCenters.aspx



    Having seen some old ones, I think they've had that theme for decades.
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