Jony Ive is the subject of an unprecedented profile by Ian Parker that delves into Ive's history with Apple, the design process for the iPhone 6, Apple Watch, and much more. Ive himself was interviewed numerous times, and it includes comments from Apple CEO Tim Cook, executives Jeff Williams and Bob Mansfield, peers in the design community, members of Apple's design team, and Laurene Powell Jobs. From The New Yorker:
Team members work twelve hours a day and can't discuss work with friends. Each project has a lead designer, but almost everyone contributes to every project, and shares the credit. (Who had this or that idea? "The team.") Ive describes his role as lying between two extremes of design leadership: he is not the source of all creativity, nor does he merely assess the proposals of colleagues. The big ideas are often his, and he has an opinion about every detail. Team meetings are held in the kitchen two or three times a week, and Ive encourages candor.
The profile also reveals that Ive is apparently working with Apple's SVP of Retail, Angela Ahrendts, on a redesign of Apple Retail Stores that will make room for the upcoming Apple Watch:
The table previously covered with a flat cloth was now uncovered: it was a glass-topped Apple Watch display cabinet, accessible to staff from below, via a descending, motorized flap, like the ramp at the rear of a cargo plane. Ive has begun to work with Ahrendts, Apple's senior vice-president of retail, on a redesign—as yet unannounced—of the Apple Stores. These new spaces will surely become a more natural setting for vitrines filled with gold (and perhaps less welcoming, at least in some corners, to tourists and truants).
The article talks about the relationship between Ive and the late Steve Jobs, including the first meeting between the two:
During the visit, Ive said, Jobs "became more and more confident, and got really excited about our ability to work together." That day, according to Ive, they started collaborating on what became the iMac. Soon afterward, Apple launched its "Think Different" campaign, and Ive took it as a reminder of the importance of "not being apologetic, not defining a way of being in response to what Dell just did." He went on, "My intuition's good, but my ability to articulate what I feel was not very good—and remains not very good, frustratingly. And that's what's hard, with Steve not being here now." (At Jobs's memorial, Ive called him "my closest and my most loyal friend.")
You can read the full profile in The New Yorker at the link below.