Jony Ive on Charlie Rose on the value of simplicity

Jony Ive and Marc Newson (Vanity Fair 001)

Apple’s SVP of Design Jony Ive along with his good friend, industrial designer Marc Newson, has lent his magic touch to a few one-off items for Sotheby’s (RED) charity auction to help fight AIDS in Africa. Some of the unique objects the two men designed include a one-off red-colored Mac Pro, a unique aluminum-clad desk and a gorgeous Leica M camera.

Ahead of tomorrow’s charity, Ive and Newson sat last night with American television talk show host and journalist Charlie Rose to discuss how they interacted to create these unique objects of affection that’ll end up being used by their highest-paying owners…

Ive repeated his simplicity mantra in the interview:

Simplicity is refining and being able to define the very essence of what something does. And therefore you understand what it is, and you understand what it does.

But simplicity for us is not just the absence of clutter, it’s not just stuff that’s not there – there’s this tremendous sort of gravity to trying to find the very, very simple solution.

Here, check out a short snippet from the Rose interview, via Bloomberg TV.

On kinship with Marc Newson.

On our manufactured environment.

And here’s Bono on the Sotheby’s charity.

In discussing the creation of a one-off Leica camera, Ive told Vanity Fair that 55 Apple engineers assisted at some part in the process, spending a collective total of 2,149 hours on the project.

Final assembly of the camera took one engineer 50 hours, the equivalent of more than six workdays.

“I found it a very odd and unusual thing to put this amount of love and energy into one thing, where you are only going to make one,” Ive said. “But isn’t it beautiful?”

And this bit on his values as a designer:

We are both fanatical in terms of care and attention to things people don’t see immediately. It’s like finishing the back of a drawer. Nobody’s going to see it, but you do it anyway. Products are a form of communication — they demonstrate your value system, what you care about.

Cult of Mac editor Leander Kahney just published his unofficial Jony Ive bio book, titled Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products, available on the iBooks Store for $11.99.

Stack Social is selling Jony Ive bundled with the author’s unofficial Steve Jobs bio called Inside Steve’s Brain (normally a $12.99 iBooks Store download), priced at 55 percent off for a limited time (you get both books for only $19.57).

Jony Ive and Marc Newson photo top of post via Vanity Fair.