Very few outsiders have been inside Apple’s Industrial Design Studio, the amazingly creative product lab behind the company’s blockbuster hardware.
That may change this weekend, when 60 Minutes broadcasts a tour of the design lab. Apple’s lead designer, Jony Ive, gave journalist Charlie Rose a peek at the facility earlier this year — and his report airs this Sunday.
But you can take a tour of Apple’s secret Industrial Design studio right now. A virtual one, anyway.
I had a 3-D model of the studio created, based on detailed descriptions and diagrams by former designers who worked inside. I used it to create a video tour of the studio, showing the layout and explaining how everything works. I think the video turned out great. You can see it below.
Located on the ground floor of Infinite Loop II behind frosted glass windows, the industrial design studio is where Ive and his team of design elves cook up Apple’s awesome products.
The studio is strictly off-limits to most. It’s perhaps the most secret part of Apple’s HQ. Even some of Apple’s own executives haven’t seen it. Rumor has it that the former head of iOS, Scott Forstall, wasn’t allowed inside, even when he was developing the iPhone’s operating system.
Only one published photograph has ever been taken inside the studio. And no, Blue Peter and the Objectified documentary weren’t filmed there, contrary to popular belief.
In the video below, you’ll see the layout of the studio; the kitchen where the designers frequently meet; the presentation tables where Apple executives discuss upcoming products; Jony Ive’s private glass office; and the machine shop that cranks out prototypes.