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A letter about Design

During my morning readings, the Financial Times is one of my favorite.

A few weekends ago I spotted a simple and profound letter that one of the most influential designers of all history wrote. I'm talking about Jony Ive, ex. Chief Design Officer at Apple.

I don't want to leave any thoughts for now, but just give you a chance to read it carefully a few times. This is the source of the letter

This issue is about making. Long an obsession of mine, it has always struck me that the process of creating and making finds expression in so many different forms. The things we make can be tangible and somewhat permanent, like buildings or products or paintings, or like the silver coffee pot my father made. Or they can be as exquisitely temporal as an arrangement of flowers, or food or music.

Perhaps predictably, this has become a rather personal issue of How To Spend It as I have gathered together many of the people, objects and placesthat I love. Trying to understand the connection between the absurdly varied things we make I found myself again and again thinking about our hands. Our extraordinary hands.

I find hands so fascinating and unfailingly beautiful. They are so central to making, being such perfect tools; durable, versatile and expressive.

Our hands are unique and personal. The more we stare at them, the more curiously odd they seem; the nails, the joints, the creases and lines, even on the hands of a child. And while our hands are so uniquely visible they often pass unnoticed, avoiding the judgments imposed on other parts of our bodies. We decorate and adorn them, and with rings we declare fidelity and love.

Perhaps our hands have become less necessary in a digital world, but in a pandemic of loneliness and isolation, the nuance and power of direct touch and connection seems more critical than ever.

Our hands have assumed an iconic and cultural importance. They are represented and understood as symbols of making, skill and industry, as symbols of solidarity, power and resolve. We can hold hands. We can punch.

And of course, our hands both enable our writing, our painting, our building and in turn tell unique stories of how we use them. They enable us and they describe us.

I’m so grateful to everyone who helped make this issue, and I am delighted to be able to share it with you.

– Jony

After reading it, it makes me speechless, and it emphasizes how our hands are key to ideating, crafting, communicating, and promoting our ideas, prototypes, and products.

Design is a matter of Design.

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