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Industrial designers honor Apple's Jony Ive, PN's Robert Grace

By: Rhoda Miel

September 5, 2013

CHICAGO – Jonathon "Jony" Ive's industrial design career has centered on one company, but his work at that one company has influenced a generation of products.

As the head of design for Apple Corp., Ive has overseen the design of the iMac, the iPod, the iPhone and the iOS7 operating system.

"Not only has his work helped in the recognition of the power of industrial design and a top-down visual brand language, but it has also set a benchmark for design that transcends the focus group," said the Industrial Designers Society of America as it presented Ive with a personal recognition award during its annual conference Aug. 22-24 in Chicago.

Ive was one of three people presented with personal recognition honors by the group. Also noted were Robert Grace, associate publisher and business development director of Plastics News, and Byron Bloch, an auto safety consultant based in Potomac, Md.

Ive's work has created new recognition for the industrial design profession, and brought credibility for design up into the executive boardroom, IDSA noted.

Since the 1960s, Bloch has focused on auto safety issues, beginning with the dangers of rear-mounted fuel tanks and going on to injuries and deaths caused by poorly designed roofs and other hazards.

He has testified in court and before Congress multiple times to support improvements in design and safety for the auto industry.

Grace, meanwhile, has "worked tirelessly to raise the understanding and integration of industrial designers into the technical world," the association noted.

"I could not have accomplished what I did at Eastman [Chemical Co.] without the excellent news coverage provided by Bob Grace and his Plastics News team," said Gaylon White, the retired director of Eastman's design programs. "Their coverage gave me 'air cover' and credibility. It helped us win over many of the Doubting Thomases that always exist in large corporations."