Seen on the Green
Famous Faces From Chingford
by Thom Goddard
This Month: Sir Jonathan Ive
Everyone knows Jonathan Ive. One of the most famous people in the world and a true 'man of the moment'. No, name not ring a bell? How about some of his creations: The iPod, the iPhone, the iPad, the iMac and the MacBook. Some of modern times most famous and iconic inventions were designed and created by a boy from Chingford.
Jonathan Paul Ive CBE, or 'Mr Mac' as he is known in the technology industry, was born in 1967 at Whipps Cross Hospital. His father, once a silversmith and now an Ofsted Schools Inspector, remembers how young Jonathan used to drive him wild by painstakingly dismantling their radios and cassette recorders just so he could try and put them back together again. All this 'training' in Chingford has certainly paid off as Ive is listed by The Times as one of the most influential British people in the world: "the man who designed the iPod and many more of Apple's most iconic products has shaken up both the global music and the electronics industries."1
Jonathan Ive attended the Chingford Foundation School, Nevin Drive, and moved on to study Industrial Design. His passion for art and design was noticed from an early age as one of his teachers says "You see his kind of talent probably once in a lifetime of teaching students". While working in London in 1992 thinking up new toilets, Jonathan was approached by then almost bankrupt Apple Computers.
Ive moved to California and was an instant success as he designed and created the first iMac computer reversing Apple's fortunes. Then, in 2001, Jonathan changed the modern world with the iPod which has made him an iconic legend and 'The man who made computers cool'2. The tasteful, minimalist design of the iPod is already enjoyed by hundreds of millions of fans across the world including the Prime Minister David Cameron, Queen Elizabeth II, Tony Blair, George W. Bush and even Pope Benedict XVI. U2 singer Bono has said of Jonathan: "If he had a fan club, I'd be in it."
One could believe that all this knighthood, fame, and tidy $2 million-a-year salary, might have gone to his head. However, Jonathan Ive likes to remain incognito by rarely giving interviews or attending gala events, always dressing in jeans and a t-shirt, and supposedly reading The Sun every morning. So if our modern day Isambard Kingdom Brunel returns to Chingford we may never know. But do keep a look out for anyone you meet in the Mount or have seen on the Green!
If you spot anyone contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Sunday Times 2007
The Daily Telegraph 2008