If you don't know the name Jonathan Ives (that's "Sir Jony," KBE, FTR), you certainly know his work: he was Steve Jobs's artistic hand, bringing form to the function of Apple's best-known products, from the Powerbook laptops and Bondi Blue iMacs to the iPhone and Apple Watch. Now the company's chief design officer, he's a legend in the both the tech and design worlds.
So what happens when he produces his first, just-unveiled Apple Store, in Brussels? Perhaps unsurprising to anyone who's ever manipulated the click-wheel on an iPod, curves happen. As Wired puts it: "Ive’s first store would boast some of the most impressive work in glass manufacturing to date." The Brussels location's sinuous, 26-foot glass walls, pundits predict, presage the convex-curved glass panels that will make up the circular Apple Campus 2.
Also of note is a markedly warmer tone throughout, with the use of potted indoor plants, clay-brick walls, and the invitation to a handful of local artists to present their work around the store. Consider this a preview for a revamp to roll through the entire Apple retail fleet: more human, more tactile, more organic.
Borrowing Woody Allen: Design is like a shark. If it stops moving forward, it dies.