What architects don’t get about Steve Jobs’ spaceship

“For reasons that would take too long to explain I find myself in Durban, South Africa, this week at a gathering of 6,000 architects from around the world,” Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports for Fortune. “I haven’t yet found one who likes Steve Jobs’ design for the new Apple headquarters — the Pentagon-sized edifice, now under construction in Cupertino, Calif., that Jobs described as looking a little like a spaceship had landed. ‘Does it have to be a spaceship?’ asked an official at the American Institute of Architects.”

“Jobs is not here to answer for his design, but Ed Catmull is,” P.E.D. reports. “Jobs’ main contribution was the design of Pixar’s headquarters — a job he took as seriously as the look and feel of any Apple product. As Catmull describes the process, it didn’t come easily.”

P.E.D. reports, “Everything you need to know about Apple’s new headquarters can be learned from the way Jobs designed the Pixar building.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]


  1. You know what else these architects don’t get? Pritzker Prizes. Your average “official at the American Institute of Architects” is more interested in pushing paper than design envelopes.

      1. Just jealous that Foster gets all the work and plaudits these day while they stay in obscurity other than eternally taking advantage of pretentious junkets of mutual admiration around the World bemoaning their irrelevance to the architectural big picture.

      1. Fruit Loop.

        They could add rainbow color coded floors or sections of the campus.

        One of my favorite cereals as a kid, the association was an easy one … 🙂

      1. By which you mean The London Eye, which is, indeed, circular.
        But could never be mistaken for a building.
        Although it does use architectural principles, it is also based almost entirely on the bicycle wheel structure.

  2. The problem with many great architects is that all their interest is with how a building looks from the outside. The way a building functions inside for the everyday users is not their concern, especially if it conflicts with the “aesthetics” of the building.

    Moreover, great architects only build great buildings in downtown environments where they can be seen and admired. Building a huge building on a suburban office campus is viewed as anti-urban and therefore bad.

    So I say to the great architects of the world: F__k off. It is Apple’s money and they can do what they want with it.

      1. Steve wanted a circle; he got one.

        Its boring. Simple. Any other shape except for a square or squarish rectangle is less boring.

        A plain circle shows a lack of imagination.

          1. A cardboard box is also practical under circumstances which require a box.

            My only point of contention at this point is that a circle is boring. Too simple is too boring, kind of like some auto race courses. For more shapes, look around.

            If u like circles so much, go draw or make some.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.