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San Francisco Waldorf School - News Viewer
Sir Jonathan Ive's Inspiring Message to Students

Jony Ive spoke with our high school students this semester. Here are excerpts from that discussion.

* * *

I've never done anything like this before. I'm here because it's San Francisco Waldorf School and my family has been part of this school for many years.

I thought I would be brutally candid about my roots and where I have ended up. When I was about your age or a bit younger, I became very aware of two things. The first was that, through traditional eyes and in terms of academic achievement, I was a shocking disappointment to my teachers and my parents. Compounding that, I was terribly, terribly shy. I struggled; I could not speak in front of a group of people of more than four or five without turning bright red and my voice shaking. It was very debilitating.

The second thing I became aware of (and thank goodness the awareness happened about the same time) was what I loved doing. I had a teacher who told me that the most important thing is to figure out what makes you happy and joyful. I loved to draw; what a wonderful thing to discover.

In England, there is a very clear system – I think it's not the same here in the US – in which you aspire, really, to be an attorney, dentist, or doctor. If you're good at mathematics and the classics, preferably Latin, you're held in esteem. And if you're good at art – drawing and making things with your hands – you're seen... well, at least you're not getting into trouble. If you were good with your hands, the inference was that, well, you're stupid with your brain.

So I found that I loved to draw but I wasn't drawing for the sake of drawing, like some students who went on to study fine arts. I was drawing to help me think. I was exploring things that were three-dimensional and drawing to figure things out. I had a very fertile imagination and I wanted to make things. That's the realm in which I worked. It didn't help my shyness but it was clearly my passion and I discovered that I was relatively competent.

* * *

I grew up in a very poor part of London and went to college in the northeast, to Newcastle, which had an amazing art program – great graphic design, industrial design, and fine arts programs. Then I went back down to London and became what is known as an industrial design consultant. I worked independently for different companies. Oddly, there were two big companies that I ended up working for. One company called Ideal Standard, which you might know as American Standard, makes toilets and washbasins. So I designed toilets. And then also, there is this company out in California called Apple.

When I was in college in the '80s, the use of computers just started to become popular. I loved my drawing and I loved my pencils, and the computers were terrible. There is a funny thing about technology: if you struggle with it, have you noticed that you blame yourself? If you eat something and it tastes bad, you don't blame yourself, do you? You think: whoever cooked the food made it terribly. So I sort of resented the use of computers until the Mac came out. It just blew me away and I had a wonderful sense that it's not me, the other stuff was just rubbish.

I suddenly realized: what you make, your work, is a representation of you. Isn't it? What you make testifies to what you think is important and what you think is not important. It testifies to what you care about and to the direction of your gaze. Everything in this room has been designed; every chair and every table has been made to a price and to a schedule and to someone's aesthetic beliefs. This was a profound discovery for me: what we do will point back to us. I found that inspiring and a little intimidating. I had a sense of the group of people who had the audacity and ambition to make this computer. I was going to find out about this group of people I didn't know anything about. In hindsight, it was an enormously arrogant assumption because I really didn't know very much at all.
* * *

There are certain categories of products. The form of this stool, for example, describes what it does. So you understand that I am holding a stool and not a piano or a washing machine or a computer because what it looks like is what it does. The fancy-pants way of describing that is "forms follows function."

With the Industrial Revolution, a new category of product with complicated mechanisms started to develop. The mechanisms may not be overt and the use of the product is far less obvious. I put computers into this category; their insides are a complete mystery to many people and design presents a huge challenge.

* * *

The design team is a very small team. Everybody has an obsession with making things and how things are made. The one thing that people have in common is curiosity. I can work with anybody who is light on their feet and curious and inquisitive. I think it's a lovely thing to be wrong. Not all of my colleagues feel the same way, but I love it when I'm wrong and I'm surprised. I take huge delight in it.

Taking time and being precise and thinking about your goals is very important. When I'm designing something, I spend a lot of time being careful with language. For example, if I say I'm going to design this stool, immediately just that word 'stool' has huge connotations. It predisposes you to think in a certain way. If I say, I'm going to design a support system that holds me so many feet above the ground, well, that will make me think an entirely different way. So just the way you use language is terribly important. It predisposes you to think in a certain way.

There's a great George Bernard Shaw quote about how all progress depends on the unreasonable man. It's brilliant: newness exists because you've said no to reason. And if you have an idea, then to turn that idea into something that's real requires an incredible drive.

Sir Jonathan (Jony) Ive is a visionary in the field of industrial design. As Apple's Chief Design Officer, Jony is in charge of groundbreaking designs such as the iPhone, iMac, and iPod that have revolutionized the way we interact with technology and each other. He holds more than 5,000 patents and several honorary doctorates, and his work is featured in the permanent collections of museums around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York. A native of London, Sir Jonathan Ive was made a Knight Commander of the British Empire in 2013 "for services to design and enterprise." Jony is also a member of our SFWS community.
design  Apple  sanfrancisco  waldorf  jonathan_ives 
august 2018 by earth2marsh
Privately Owned Public Open Space (POPOS) and Public Art | Data | San Francisco
"Privately-owned public open spaces (POPOS) are publicly accessible spaces in forms of plazas, terraces, atriums, small parks, and even snippets that are provided and maintained by private developers. In San Francisco, POPOS mostly appear in the Downtown office district area. Prior to 1985, developers provided POPOS under three general circumstances: voluntarily, in exchange for a density bonus, or as a condition of approval. The 1985 Downtown Plan created the first systemic requirements for developers to provide publicly accessible open space as a part of projects in C-3 Districts. The goal was to provide in the downtown quality open space in sufficient quantity and variety to meet the needs of downtown workers, residents and visitors.The POPOs data is available in Google KMZ and GIS Shapefile formats. The zip file contains a .dbf file which can be viewed in Excel or other spreadsheet software. The zip also contains a Google KMZ file of Public Artworks provided as part of the Downtown Plan requirement. Download the data by clicking on the 'ZIP' button at the top right of this page.For more information please visit the POPOS and Public Art website at"
maps  mapping  data  art  sanfrancisco 
june 2016 by earth2marsh
Akit's Complaint Department: How to Access the Elusive Sky Terrace Roof at Westfield Mall SF
"How to Access the Sky Terrace
Step one:
You'll need to access it through the outside building entrance on Market located on the far left side of where the building property line ends (next door is Walgreens). You will see a purple San Francisco State University Banner and the address 835 Market Street. This is also the entrance to San Francisco State's Downtown Center.

My Alma Mater (times two) and Employer!
Step two:
Walk through the doors and down the hallway and you will see a security guard desk on the right. You'll know you are in the right building when you notice the SF State signage on the left just when you enter the building.

Step three:
Ask the security guard that you would like to access the sky terrace. Depending on how nice the guard is, they'll tell you how to get there, or give you a surly attitude.

Remember, floor nine is the place to go.
Step four:
You'll see an elevator bank to the left of the guard's desk. Take the forward left elevator and select floor nine (there will be the words "Sky Terrace" next to the button). This is the only elevator that provides service to the roof, so don't take the wrong elevator.

Step five:
At the ninth floor, just make a quick left and you are at the Sky Terrace!"
sanfrancisco  spaces  public  directions 
june 2016 by earth2marsh
Those Yellow Dots on SF’s Pavement - Explained | SFMTA
Among Muni staff, these modified circles tend to go by nicknames -- tadpoles, frying pans, hamburgers and pancakes. No kidding.

But the purpose of these markings is serious. They help operators time their acceleration properly as their electric trolley poles and train pantographs pass through the “breakers” that connect different sections of wire. The arms and gaps on the circles indicate which vehicles they apply to, based on the vehicle type (short or long trolley bus) and the direction of approach.
sanfrancisco  pavement  muni  mysteries  explained 
may 2016 by earth2marsh
Interactive map of photos in SF in the 1800s
history  maps  mapping  sanfrancisco  photos  cool 
october 2015 by earth2marsh
NextBus Google Map
shows which style of muni car is traveling along market / embarcadero
muni  sanfrancisco  transportation  map  maps 
december 2013 by earth2marsh
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