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Watch: Apple’s Poetic Statement On Its Design Process

Minimalist? Simple? Flat? In this video, Apple reminds the world that its design goes beyond Bauhaus sensibility.

Watch: Apple’s Poetic Statement On Its Design Process

At WWDC, the lights went down, the hollers went up, and then Apple played this video in a near whisper. In that moment, I thought it was mistimed. It was too much of a love-in intro to an event with so much electricity in the air, and it clearly contained a poetic subtlety that needed a consideration beyond "zomg, is iOS 7 really going flat?!?"

Seeing it again now, I’ve come to truly appreciate the clip. Every piece of its animation is beautiful, playful, surprising, and interconnected—it’s a physical manifestation of Apple’s latest printed statement on design—one that challenges those of us who’ve begun to simplify its approach as "simpler" or "flatter" or even "sexy." Here’s a transcription for your easy reading (punctuation my own):

If everyone is busy making everything, how can anyone perfect anything? We start to confuse convenience with joy. Abundance with choice. Designing something requires focus. The first thing we ask is: What do we want people to feel? Delight. Surprise. Love. Connection. Then we begin to craft around our intention. It takes time. There are a thousand no’s for every yes. We simplify, we perfect, we start over, until everything we touch enhances each life it touches. Only then do we sign our work: Designed by Apple in California.

The piece is, of course, a primer to Apple’s latest design-centric promotional tagline, that "Designed by Apple in California" finale. But it’s also a shot at the Samsungs and Googles of the world, who are attacking Apple’s mobile marketshare head-on with feature-loaded devices that, with every subsequent generation, are becoming nicer to hold and look at.

It’s a reminder that design is not intended to be any one thing, other than created with the intent for human use. That’s why the word "delightful" is as important as "streamlined." And hopefully, it’s a lesson that Apple itself takes to heart as it marries iOS, OSX, and a slew of hard, metal, and glass devices together in the years to come.