At the California College of the Arts graduation ceremony, Sir Jony Ive gave an inspiring and motivational commencement speech to creatives. Speaking to the graduating class virtually, Sir Ive not only emphasized the importance of designing skills but also the significance of introspective ability to listen, be patient, thrive to create and value ideas.
Sir Jonathan Paul Ive is a British-American industrial, product, and architectural designer. He joined Apple in 1992 and left the company in 2019 as its Chief Design Officer. In the span of 27 years at Apple, Sir Jony Ive was the Co-designer of iPhone, iPad, iMac, and iPod. He contributed to the architectural design of Apple Park and Apple Stores. He is also known for unconventional designs like a rim-less all diamond ring, Wallpaper magazine cover without any text and picture, and a Christmas tree. However, Sir Jony Ive left the Cupertino tech company to start his own design firm, LoveForm with Marc Newson.
Sir Jony Ive encourage 500 graduating creatives to think, listen, be patient, and value their ideas and work
In the virtual address, Sir Jony Ive lamented the loss of physical connection due to the COVID-19 pandemic and acknowledged the challenges graduating class of 2021 faced through the academic year like working in their kitchens, tents, and away from friends and teachers. Despite the hardships, Sir Ive asked the creatives to focus on the positives like being around family members and focus on the ability to build and make something new.
Sharing his personal journey from a young boy to a successful professional designer, Sir Jony Ive highlighted the importance of ideas and creating rather than only design. Furthermore to respect one’s ideas and work and not be distracted by opinions to foster their curiosity.
“Perhaps the most important thing, I can share with you today is about curiosity; being truly open, inquisitive and curious has become the very basis for all that I do and how I think. Having a genuine relish for being surprised and for learning is fundamental to creating.
Many of us have a natural or innate predisposition to be curious, though I have learned that after a traditional education or working in an environment with many people, it has to be a decision it requires intent and discipline. In interactions with larger groups many us gravitate towards the tangible and the measurable it is more comfortable far easier and more socially acceptable to talk about what is known. Of course being curious fuels our appetite to learn and wantig to learn is far more important than being right.
Curiosity can unite us and form the basis for powerful and joyful collaborations and crucially the delight and joy of curosity and learing can temper our fear of doing something completely new.
Lastly, one of the wonderful consequences of being open is that you find yourself actually listening. To listen well means you need to be quiet; great ideas can come from the quietest voice…I think it would be great to resist the urge to fill every moment of every minutewith opinions and to listen.“
Throughout the speech, he did not mention Apple or allude to his time at the company.