The low-tech ambitions of Apple’s design guru, Sir Jony Ive

“Last week I got the chance to interview Jonathan ‘Jony’ Ive, Apple’s chief design officer, at a conference organised by the Norman Foster Foundation. If he could pick any futuristic product, I asked him, what he would like to design?” Gillian Tett reports for Financial Times. “‘A soap dispenser,’ he replied, quick as a flash. ‘A soap dispenser?’ I repeated, slightly baffled.”

“Ive is rumoured to harbour all manner of futuristic design ambitions, with an appetite for aerospace, self-driving cars and a mysterious project known as “Airbug” (none of which he will discuss in public),” Tett reports. “So why, I wondered, would he care about something as humble and retro as a soap dispenser? Why not pick something more cutting edge?”

Jonathan Ive, Apple Chief Design Officer
Jonathan Ive, Apple Chief Design Officer
“Ive wriggled in his seat and explained that he passionately believed that the whole point of design was to celebrate ‘being human,'” Tett reports. “That required creating objects that appear to be breathtakingly simple but solve key problems — such as how to wash our hands — in a powerful and beautiful way. ‘There aren’t any good soap dispensers,’ he explained. He is now on a quest to find or create one, thus solving a problem that ‘really bothers’ him.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: He’s right. We’d buy that soap dispenser!

The best one we’ve found, and it’s for hand sanitizer, not soap, is the PURELL Touch Free Dispenser. It’s not much to look at, but it works well, at least.

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


  1. “The problem with soap dispensers is the mess of liquid, and the necessity of having a tube and an unsightly spout. Well today we are pleased to announce a revolutionary new soap dispenser. It comes in solid form and you simply rub your hands on it. We call it, iSoap.”

  2. Simple Human makes a great one Jony and it does not clog. It also allows users to replace the batteries-,apparently an Apple no-no.
    If he wants to do cars and aerospace maybe he should go to work for Elon Musk.

  3. Jony Ive, narcissist disguised as painfully humble introspective design genius… just get on with it, lots of great designers out there.

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