Apple has several (and huge) teams specializing in design around the world, but the “elite troop” of industrial design, reporting directly to the CDO Jony Ive in a top-secret basement in Cupertino, it is a much more restricted group – there are just over 20 highly talented individuals who are directly responsible for creating some of the most iconic products in recent decades.
The problem is that the team seems to be undergoing a dissolution process: as informed by the Wall Street Journal, at least three members left or are about to leave Ive’s design core.
Citing sources close to the subject, the newspaper said that Rico Zorkendorfer and Danielle de Iullis – who together have 35 years of experience at Apple – recently left the design team. Julian Hönig, in turn, plans to take the same direction in the coming months.
While de Iullis and Hönig declined to comment on the departure, Zorkendorfer stated that he was asking for the Apple bills to take a break from his professional life and spend more time with his family, adding that he feels privileged to have had the opportunity to work with the nucleus company design.
The three outings represent a very rare event for the group, considered an extremely harmonic “machine” and with very few casualties over the years. According to the newspaper, the event is not free: the prestige of the team – which, during the Steve Jobs years, was considered untouchable and received more attention from the CEO than any other sector – is not the same as before.
The reason for the change is probably Apple’s new focus on the «Services» sector, but that does not mean that Apple is relegating the importance of design to a smaller place. According to Zorkendorfer, the transition is simply a sign that a new generation of designers is coming – it remains to be seen whether this new generation will be able to repeat the resounding successes of its predecessors.