Apple’s former chief design officer, Jonathan “Jony” Ive, has hit the headlines with a new project. His 2019 company LoveFrom has landed its first rough client: travel and apartment rental platform Airbnb.
The announcement, made Thursday night and posted by Airbnb boss Brian Chesky on the company’s blog, largely left open what Ive and his design firm are actually expected to do for Airbnb.
But it is about a collaboration that lasted several years “in the development of new products and services”, says the blog entry. Ive also said he will help build Airbnb’s own design team. So it’s not a matter of completely outsourcing the function. Chesky emphasized that he and Ive have been “good friends for many years” and he has provided him with ideas and advice before. Ive believed Airbnb’s internal design team is one of the “one of the best in the world”. Airbnb also has another project that Ive been able to help with: Under the code name “Backyard” Airbnb experiments with ideas for its own homes designed specifically for renting out.
From the iMac to the iPod to the iPhone
Jonathan Ive, now 53, has played a leading role in the design of Apple products from the Mac and iPod to the iPhone and Apple Watch since the late 1990s. For a while he also set the tone for the appearance of the iPhone operating system iOS. Last year, Ive went into business for himself and founded LoveFrom together with the equally renowned British designer Marc Newson – who had also helped out at Apple in the past.
Airbnb is a platform where living space can be rented out and rented primarily for short-term stays such as vacations. The San Francisco-based company, which is about to go public, is not without controversy – it is accused of causing a housing shortage and rent increases in the regions where it operates. In some cities, the offer is therefore subject to conditions or even banned altogether. (with material from dpa)