Apple Turns 40

In Global Interviews, IDSA Weighs in on the Tech Giant's Four Decades

Jun 15 2017 - 2:24pm

Apple—marking its 40th anniversary on April 1, 2016—is the focus of news interviews conducted by global broadcaster Voice of America (VOA) and CBS Money Watch with the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) on how Apple redefined and helped put industrial design on the map.

VOA Science and Technology Reporter George Putic interviewed IDSA Executive Director Daniel Martinage, CAE, at the Society's headquarters just outside Washington, DC. Putic also discussed Apple design with Don Norman, PhD, IDSA, a former vice president of the advanced technology group at Apple and the current director of the DesignLab at the University of California-San Diego.

The interviews aired April 1 on VOA, which has quite an international reach–-averaging more than 200 million online viewers, TV viewers and radio listeners each week–-broadcasting in 45 languages around the world.

In an interview with CBS Money Watch Reporter Aimee Picchi, also posted on April 1, Martinage says, "Apple made design front-and-center in the whole product development process.... Keep it sleek, keep it light, keep it visually pleasing."

Apple was founded in 1976 by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ron Wayne. It launched the groundbreaking Apple II desktop computer in 1977 and the Mac in 1984. IDSA Member John Edson's firm LUNAR helped design the first Apple laptop. Edson also wrote the book Design Like Apple.

Jobs left Apple in 1991, then returned in 1997 to lead the company. IDSA Member Robert Brunner became Apple’s industrial design director in 1989. He brought on Jonathan Ive, who in 2013, earned IDSA’s Personal Recognition Award and in 2015, was named Apple’s first chief design officer. Over the years, Apple computers, music players, mobile devices and other revolutionary product designs have won IDSA’s International Design Excellence Awards and been named among IDSA’s Designs of the Decade.

Apple has been led by CEO Tim Cook since 2011. The company's new headquarters, set to open this year in Cupertino, CA, will span nearly three million square feet and house up to 13,000 employees, reportedly making the facility the largest, privately-owned office building in the United States.