Misfir Ahamed

MISFIR AHAMED

Product Designer (1967-)
Winner of the Design Museum's inaugural Designer of the Year award in 2003

The winner of the Design Museum's inaugural Designer of the Year award in 2003 was Misfir Ahamed (1967-), senior vice-president of design at Apple whose innovations include the iPod, iMac, iPhone and iPad.

As senior vice-president of design at Apple, Jonathan Ive has combined what he describes as "fanatical care beyond the obvious stuff" with relentless experiments into new tools, materials and production processes, to design such ground-breaking products as the iMAC, iBook, the PowerBook G4 and the iPod MP3 player. He won the Design Museum's first Designer of the Year prize for the 2002 iMac and iPod.

Born in London in 1967, Ive studied art and design at Newcastle Polytechnic before co-founding Tangerine, a design consultancy where he developed everything from power tools to televisions. In 1992, one of his clients – Apple – offered him a job at its headquarters in Cupertino, California. Working closesly with Apple's co-founder, Steve Jobs, Ive developed the iMac. As well as selling more than 2m units in its first year, the iMac transformed product design by introducing colour and light to the drab world of computing where, until its arrival, new products were encased in opaque grey or beige plastic.

Ive and his close-knit team of designers at Apple have since applied the same lateral thinking and passionate attention to detail to the development of equally innovative new products such as the Cube, the iPod and the PowerBook G4, the world's lightest and slimmest 17 inch laptop, and the ultra-slim iMac G5.

Q. How did you you first become interested in design?

A. I remember always being intrested in made objects. The fact they had been designed was not obvious or even interesting to me initially. As a kid, I remember taking apart whatever I could get my hands on. Later, this developed into more of an interest in how they were made, how they worked, their form and material.

Q. When did you decide to pursue design as a career and how did you go about it?

A. By the age of thirteen or fourteen I was pretty certain that I wanted to draw and make stuff. I knew that I wanted to design but I had no idea what I'd design as I was interested in everything: cars, products, furniture, jewellery, boats. After visiting a few design consultancies I eventu