From the iPod to the Apple Watch (via, of course, the iPhone), Jony Ive was responsible for some of the tech world's most ubiquitous and iconic designs during his time at Apple. When he announced his departure last year, many speculated on Ive's next move – and his next client might come as a surprise.
Airbnb has announced that Ive and his new company, LoveFrom, will lead a redesign of its products and services in a multi-year collaboration. But while the project will no doubt involve a revamp of the company's app and website (could we be getting a symbol worthy of our best logos list?), Twitter has wasted no time imagining what Airbnb's properties might look like under the direction of the ex-Apple designer.
"I’m thrilled to announce that Jony and his partners at LoveFrom will be engaging in a special collaboration with me and the Airbnb team," Airbnb's chief executive says in a blog post titled Designing the Future of Airbnb. We have made the decision to work together to design the next generation of Airbnb products and services. Jony will also help us continue to develop our internal design team."
As for what the future of Airbnb will actually look like under Ive, can we expect a slew of white rooms full of glass, aluminium, and not much else? The internet certainly has an idea of what the new Applebnb—sorry, Airbnb, might look like.
Just a sneak peek at what @Airbnb and I are working on: https://t.co/NExHie91Zv pic.twitter.com/ss2OK7fzeMOctober 21, 2020
Wow Jony Ive is joining AirBnb. I guess this is what the rooms will look like from now on, haha. (Seriously tho that's awesome hope it is a fun partnership for them). pic.twitter.com/v5uJnYmr2COctober 22, 2020
The new @Airbnb logo after Jony Ive: pic.twitter.com/xh9MaGxyrJOctober 22, 2020
Airbnb demonstrates new design requirements for rental properties, as established by their new partner, Jony Ive.https://t.co/k4x8IEg5mE pic.twitter.com/AZ1hwwfxXqOctober 22, 2020
I give you AirBnB Nano, you imagine you’re somewhere but pay the same @Airbnb #travel #airbnb https://t.co/jGY4J0NuPOOctober 22, 2020
Who's going to book the first Jony Ive @Airbnb? It probably won't have any ports... https://t.co/TO7t9acGTMOctober 22, 2020
It will certainly be interesting to see whether Ive's influence extends to Airbnb's logo. The current design proved controversial thanks to its somewhat, er, anatomical design – and it even hit our list of the most hated rebrands of all time.
Back when Ive's departure was announced last year, we speculated on where Apple might go, design-wise. And with the announcement of the iPhone 12 and 12 Mini, it seems the answer is: backwards. The square edges of both, and the smaller form factor of the Mini, are reminiscent of 2012's iPhone 5 – could Apple be missing Jony Ive's magic design touch?