The British born designer Sir Jonathan Ive, 46 has made it onto the 2013 Time Magazine 100 List. Born in Chingford, Essex near London in 1967, Ive attended Newcastle Polytechnic Newcastle-on-Tyne in the 1980’s. In the 90s, he established the quirky design group Tangerine and worked as a consultant for Apple, before moving to San Francisco with his writer wife Heather to work for the company full time in 1992. At Apple he was the man behind many of the iconic gadgets of the last 15 years including the iMac, iPod, iPhone and iPad. He joined Apple in 1992 and has been based in California ever since. Steve Jobs, who returned to Apple in 1996, after his 12 year exile, appointed Ive to his current position in 1997.
According to Ive, Jobs would attempt to take credit for some of his ideas from time-to-time. ”I pay maniacal attention to where an idea comes from, and I even keep notebooks filled with my ideas,” Ive said. “I am keenly aware that I benefit from a wonderful tradition in the UK of designing and making,” He said in a statement. “To be recognized with this honour in the UK, is more important to me then anyone will ever know” I discovered at an early age that all I’ve ever wanted to do is design. I feel enormously fortunate that I continue to be able to design and make products with a truly remarkable group of people here at Apple.”
“Jony Ive is himself classic Apple. Brushed steel, polished glass hardware, complicated software honed to simplicity. His genius is not just his ability to see what others cannot but also how he applies it. To watch him with his workmates in the holy of holies, Apple’s design lab, or on a night out is to observe a very rare esprit de corps. They love their boss, and he loves them. What the competitors don’t seem to understand is you cannot get people this smart to work this hard just for money. Jony is Obi-Wan. His team are Jedi whose nobility depends on the pursuit of greatness over profit, believing the latter will always follow the former, stubbornly passing up near-term good opportunities to pursue great ones in the distance. Jony’s values happen to add value — emotional and financial. It takes a unique alchemy of form and function for millions of people to feel so passionately about the robot in their pocket.” – Bono, Time Magazine
The American artist Ed Ruscha, 75, known for his Pop Art landscapes with petrol stations and text paintings also makes the list.
“For half a century, Ed Ruscha has been the faux-naïf funnyman of American art, posing smart riddles about what we think we know. In 1956, right after high school, he drove from Oklahoma City to Los Angeles to help gestate the West Coast division of Pop Art. Certainly the photo books of the 1960s that first made his name, like Twentysix Gasoline Stations and Every Building on the Sunset Strip, were Pop-inflected — deadpan inventories of the inconsequential that made banality weirdly captivating. But like a SoCal Magritte, Ruscha wasn’t interested merely in everyday things but also in the shaky systems of understanding they rested upon. Above all, he loved to sabotage the presumptions of language, picturing words on canvas crushed, liquefied and otherwise set in play. From those canny works alone, a whole generation of conceptual artists, from Bruce Nauman to Christopher Wool, scored ideas. But even if Ruscha never met a word he couldn’t unsettle, let’s hang on to the one we need sometimes to describe him: genius”. – Richard Lacayo, Time Magazine
Wang Shu, Architect and Professor 49, is also included on the Time list. Born in Urumqi, a city in Xinjiang, the western most province of China, he states; “to me architecture is spontaneous for the simple reason that architecture is a matter of everyday life. When I say that I build a ‘house’ instead of a ‘building’, I am thinking of something that is closer to life, everyday life. When I named my studio ‘Amateur Architecture’, it was to emphasize the spontaneous and experimental aspects of my work, as opposed to being ‘official and monumental’.”
“In recent years, China has become the world’s greatest laboratory for architecture, with buildings that look like domes, roller coasters, crumbling cliffs, cruise ships and Slinkys rising across the country. Few, however, look anything like their surroundings or the traditional structures flattened to make way for the construction boom. Wang Shu is the rare architect who has successfully blended China’s quest for novel and eye-catching architecture with respect for traditional aesthetics. The 2012 winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, the profession’s highest honor, Wang and his Amateur Architecture Studio have designed buildings that maintain the sensibilities of Chinese courtyards but rework them for settings ranging from apartment buildings to waterfronts. To protest the waste of building materials, which are often dumped in landfills after short-lived structures are demolished, he has made frequent use of recycled materials in works: the Ningbo History Museum and Tiled Garden, an installation at the Venice Biennale of Architecture, was made from 66,000 recycled tiles. In a country where centuries-old structures can disappear in a few short days, Wang is welcome proof that China’s architectural future doesn’t have to discard its past”. Time – Austin Ramzy
Jonathan Ive, Ed Ruscha and Wang Shu are certainly outstanding choices for artists to honour on this year’s Time 100 List. Many others will get their chance in the future. The list seems to value musicians more than other areas leaving an unbalanced bias towards this area. I also feel museum/exhibition directors, curators are lacking on this list.
Top Photo: Jonathan Ive by Michael Johnston