“The Cambridge Union is used for impassioned debates. The hall is divided in two, with rows of seats facing each other, adversarially,” David Phelan writes for The Independent. “But the first recipient of the Stephen Hawking Fellowship, apart from the professor himself who gave the initial Fellowship speech last year, was anything but combative.”

“Sir Jonathan Ive, Chief Design Officer at Apple, was awarded the fellowship because he fulfilled its twin criteria, as explained by Charles Connor, President of the Cambridge Union for the Michalemas term,” Phelan writes. “Connor said Ive showed flair in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields and the ability to communicate complex ideas in a way to excite the imagination.”

Jonathan Ive, Apple Chief Design Officer

Jonathan Ive, Apple Chief Design Officer

“Although he had worried that he was technologically inept, his first encounters with an Apple Mac changed everything,” Phelan writes. “‘With the Mac, in 1988, I think I learned two things. Firstly, I could actually use it. I loved using it and it became a very powerful tool that helped me design and create. Secondly, and I think this is in some ways a rather embarrassing admission because this was at the end of four years of studying design, I realised that what you make represents who you are. It stands testament to your values and your preoccupations, and using the Mac I sensed a clear and direct connection with the people who actually created the Macintosh. For the first time, I remember being moved by obvious humanity and care beyond just the functional imperative.’ This, he said, led to him finding out more about the people at Apple and moving to California in 1992 to join the team.”

Phelan writes, “He also described a paradox in the way he works which, he says, almost becomes absurd…”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Congratulations, Jony Ive, the first recipient of the Stephen Hawking Fellowship!

As an aside, it’s interesting, isn’t it, when we struggle with technology, we assume the issue is actually with us. If you eat something that tastes dreadful, you don’t assume that the issue is with you. I just thought I’d mention that. – Jony Ive, November 19, 2017

There’s a nice exposition of the difference between those who settle for Windows/Android as opposed to those who of us who use Macintosh/iOS.

Sir Jony Ive awarded 2018 Stephen Hawking fellowship – September 27, 2018
Royal College of Art in London appoints Apple’s Jony Ive as its Chancellor – May 25, 2017
Jony Ive is the most powerful person at Apple – December 12, 2014
Jony Ive hasn’t been given too much power at Apple – because he’s always had it – February 5, 2013
Steve Jobs left design chief Jonathan Ive ‘more operational power’ than anyone else at Apple – October 21, 2011