Apple design chief Jony Ive keeps a low profile, but he’s social with a handful of Brits who sit atop the world of industrial design, including Jay Osgerby and Ed Barber, founders of the studio Barber Osgerby. A few years ago, the duo paid Ive a visit. Over a pint, they shared what they had been working on: a new office chair that would be the first from the furniture maker Vitra in several years.
The pitch around the design wasn’t that it was technical or flashy. Rather, the idea was that it was “quiet,” with soothing curves that could blend in anywhere, even a home. Ive perked up, raised an eyebrow, and said, “That’s interesting.”