Ive’s own footprint in sci-fi is unmistakable and, peculiarly, more than a little sinister. From Black Mirror (2011–present) to Blade Runner 2049 (2017) to The Circle (2017), the future these days is always full of off-white metal and luminous screens that seem malevolent, even when they’re trying to soothe you.
If these movies are any sign, there’s something people find a little unsettling about Ive’s designs. Maybe it’s simply that, as with any really popular style, the “Apple look” has become a victim of its own success, cheapened by countless knockoffs. Or maybe Apple’s mission—and the Ive designs to accompany it—no longer seems as daringly utopian as Jobs managed to make it appear. Good design, Rams argued, isn’t only unobtrusive; it’s long-lasting and environmentally friendly. It’s hard to stay faithful to those dictums when your company’s business model seems to depend on products that stop working
a few years after customers buy them.