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[3] Leander Caney. "Jony Ive". Roberts Weaver Group

[3] Leander Caney. "Jony Ive". Roberts Weaver Group

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[3] Leander Caney. "Jony Ive". Roberts Weaver Group

Keeping his promise to return to the Roberts Weaver Group, Joni moved from Newcastle to London with his wife Heather. His decision to join Roberts Weaver somewhat surprised his new boss, Phil Gray, who was aware of the positions he had been offered.

The arrival of RWG was something more than a consolation prize: Roberts Weaver was one of the leading design companies in the UK. Joni found himself in the company of talented people and quickly made new friends, establishing strong bonds that are alive to this day. His friend Grinier had already moved to another design company near Cambridge at that time, but in the late eighties RWG won several design awards.

Like many similar consulting firms, this company has worked on a large portfolio of packages from consumer goods to high-tech products and has collaborated with international clients in the US, Europe, Japan and South Korea. Customers included companies such as Applied Materials, Zebra and lawn mower manufacturer Qualcast. The RWG's management and production structure, as was typical of the time, included three different groups working together: product design, interior design, and workshop. Joni joined the product design department.

Among his colleagues were twenty designers, engineers and graphic designers working in an open studio. Jony and his colleagues had quick access to the workshop, which was located directly below the studio. It was a fully equipped room for the preparation of models, where five special models were located. The interior design team consisted of 23 designers, architects and computer specialists.

RWG has taken on two basic types of product design projects, says partner Barry Weaver. One was a complete design and development process, typically for UK clients. Such projects included the development of a product concept, the preparation of ready-made working models, as well as the development of engineering solutions and thinking through tools. In other words, it was necessary to fully prepare the product for serial production. The second type of project was more limited and focused on generating new ideas or inventing new products, usually for foreign clients, most of whom were from Japan and Korea. In most of these cases, the client company had its own design team but was looking for fresh concepts or a different approach from outside.

At his new workplace, Jony showed no less productivity than in Newcastle. “Some engineers think that the more research you do, the better the results will be,” says Weaver. Personally, I believe in common sense and intuition. Jonathan's forte was that he quickly grasped the essence of the problem and made intuitive decisions that were elegant, forward-looking, and distinguished by attention to detail so uncharacteristic of such young people ”

He gained the trust of his new colleagues and earned reputation of a hardworking enthusiast who knows how to work in a team. “He had a calm personality and a great sense of humor,” Gray recalls. - In the studio, he never behaved noisily, but his work was productive, because he knew how to insist on his own. He had a high degree of diligence and worked extremely hard. The efficiency of his work was amazing and the quality impeccable. He often generated half a dozen great ideas in a short period of time and was able not only to discuss them but also to communicate them to others thanks to his amazing drawing skills.

While Jony's style suited RWG perfectly, the same could not be said for the company's performance as a consulting firm. RWG often had to make concessions in dealing with clients, and very soon this began to drive Joni crazy.

On the other hand, Weaver clearly understood his designer's annoyance:

While entering the design pool, Jony collaborated with other designers as well. He has worked on outdoor garden lighting systems and lawn mowers for British manufacturer Qualcast. He created several concept drawings for industrial rock drills for another British company, Kango.

His confidence skyrocketed, and after only a few weeks at RWG, he turned to Gray asking for a substantial raise. He was talented and felt he deserved it. However, he was still young, just recently graduated from high school, and Gray decided to tell the young upstart about the realities of fast takeoffs.

However, his talents have become a source of problems for his leaders in the RWG. In 1989, Joni's graduation project took part in the prestigious Young Designers' Show held by the Design Council of Great Britain. His futuristic work attracted the attention of the top manager of Ideal Standard, a major manufacturer of bathroom and toilet accessories. Ideal Standard's sales director was so impressed with Jony's work that he contacted Roberts Weaver and asked management permission to have Jony take on one of his company's design projects. Roberts Weaver felt they had to give up.

After a while, the top manager of Ideal Standard again came to the attention of Quince. In 1989, a liquidity crisis and bank loans hit the RWG financially. The company's interior design division has been commissioned to design meeting rooms for banks in the UK, Spain and Australia. However, the financial crisis spread around the world and banks canceled their orders.

RWG had to suspend its interior design office in London. Weaver's business partner Jos Roberts left the office and moved to Australia, and the product design department went through a restructuring. As part of the reforms, Weaver drafted new contracts for all designers.

All the designers except Joni refused to sign these contracts. Yes, and he signed his contract because he canceled a previous contract that tied him to RWG in gratitude for sponsoring his college education. Thanks to the discovered legal loophole, he managed to save himself from this obligation. He subsequently retired from RWG and the first phase of his professional career came to an end.

To be continued.

Leander Caney. Jony Ive

Foreword
Chapter 1. Schooldays
Part One
Chapter 2. British Design Education
Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Chapter 3. Living in London
Part One
Part Two



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