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New video provides a rare look inside Apple’s secretive design studio

Apple Design

For a company that famously doesn’t like to look towards the past, Apple a few weeks ago released an interesting new product: a 300 page book which chronicles every major Apple product released since 1998. Priced at $300, the book doesn’t come cheap, but then again, high-end coffee table books are rarely wallet-friendly.

In conjunction with the book’s release, Apple yesterday released new video — narrated by Apple’s chief designer Jony Ive — highlighting the philosophy behind the book’s origins. “You understand the nature of an object so much more when you understand how it came to be,” Ive explains. “This book tells dozens and dozens of stories.”

Now given that the book itself is completely barren of any product descriptions or interesting anecdotes, I’d venture to say that Ive’s characterization of the book is a bit off the mark. But the video itself is well worth watching because it provides viewers with an extremely rare glimpse inside of Apple’s vaunted design studio.

In fact, the design studio is unquestionably the most secretive area within the entire Apple campus. To this point, here’s what Walter Isaacson said about the design studio in Steve Jobs’ biography.

[Ive’s design studio] is shielded by tinted windows and a heavy clad, locked door. Just inside is a glass-booth reception desk where two assistants guard access. Even the most high-level Apple employees are not allowed in without special permission.

Driving the point home, Tim Jokingly told Charlie Rose last year that the design studio is probably subject to “more secrecy than the CIA.”

In any event, the video can be seen below.

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 15 years. A life long Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW. When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.