Jony Ive on Apple product naming, David Beckham connection

Apple’s London-born VP of Industrial Design Jonathan Ive was last week honored with the greatest accolade in United Kingdom’s children TV, BBC’s Blue Peter programme. BBC’s Barney Harwood briefly interviewed Ive on his design work and journalist and recording engineer Tom Davenport has posted a video where Ive discusses how product naming philosophy can affect the design process. And as 9to5Mac noted, Ive also reveals a little known connection to David Beckham. Another video right after the break…

According to Ive, thinking outside the box extends to Apple’s naming philosophy.

In his theorizing on how he would approach designing a lunchbox, Ive drops hints on how Apple avoids using certain words in product names and design briefs.

If we’re thinking of lunchbox, we’d be really careful about not having the word ‘box’ already give you bunch of ideas that could be quite narrow.

You think of a box being a square, and like a cube. And so we’re quite careful with the words we use, because those can determine the path that you go down.

In other words, saying ‘this is a box so it must be a cube’ limits one’s creativity, according to Ive.

According to me, that’s pretty genius.

His comment is relevant in light of what Louis Bedigian wrote on Benzinga, that iWatch – Apple’s rumored app watch – isn’t actually a smart watch, but a standalone television set, another product Ive and his team are believed to be building in secrecy.

9to5Mac author Jordan Kahn has uploaded a longer 7-minute version to YouTube, watch it right below.

Ive went to the same high school as English footballer and celebrity David Beckham.

And here’s the full video of Ive’s BBC appearance.

Apple CEO Tim Cook during his Goldman Sachs keynote publicly called Ive “the best designer in the world.”

He also praised other members of Apple’s Leadership team.

When I look around the executive table, I see superstars. I see people who are at the top of their game.

Cook late last year let go Apple’s iOS boss Scott Forstall, apparently because of iOS Maps woes but also realizing other Apple executives were constantly complaining about Forstall’s abrasive management style.

As part of the reshuffling, Cook gave Ive broader responsibilities that now include software and user interface design for all Apple products.