Jony Ive talks designing for Sotheby’s (RED) charity


Apple’s SVP of all design, Jony Ive, recently contributed to a couple unique items conceived specifically for Sotheby’s (RED) charity auction. These include, among other objects of affection, a one-off red-colored Mac Pro, a unique aluminum-clad desk and an awesome retro-looking Leica M camera.

Ive already talked about creating that camera and working with influential industrial designer, Australia-born Marc Newson, and now we get to see the two men discuss the intricacies of working with Sotheby’s on making these nice auction items a reality…

The video includes interesting details like the thought process behind the aluminum table (pictured below), their collaboration and the manufacturing process behind the one-off Leica camera.

RED Desk (Jony Iva and Marc Newson 001)

Mmusician and philanthropist Bono Vox appears in the video, too.

Bono is one of the co-founders of the Product (RED) project which strives to raise awareness and funds to help eliminate AIDS in Africa. The video is courtesy of Sotheby’s, give it a watch.

The criteria they both had in designing these auction items is “that we both just wanted to own each one really badly,” Ive said in the video.

I love the following quote about designing the one-off Leica M camera through relentless refining and prototyping:

We wanted it to be light. We didn’t want to make it from brass, we wanted to make it from aluminum. We used the most advanced tools that we possibly could to make it.

I mean we’ve made prototype after prototype. Having spent so much energy making this, as if we were going to make millions of them, but we’re only going to make one.

When you really think about it long and hard, it is crazy that Ive and Apple engineers have actually found time to devote company resources and man hours toward the creation of one-off objects that will end up being owned by a single person each.

leica 4

The auction is scheduled to take place in New York on November 23.

All proceeds will go to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Africa. The February 2008 auction in New York raised north of $40 million to fight AIDS in Africa.

If you’re wondering about that red Mac Pro top of post, they’re shooting to auction it off for a cool $60,000.