Apple’s widely respected hardware designs have sometimes been likened to museum-quality pieces. Now the company’s design chief is leveraging that reputation to help a famous museum.
In a bid to raise money for a move from the Thames waterfront to Kensington, the Design Museum of London has teamed with auction firm Phillips. One of the lots being auctioned is a specially-designed, 12.9-inch iPad Pro and accessory set crafted by Jony Ive and his team at Apple.
See also: Inside Apple’s perfectionism machine
The set includes a one-of-a-kind yellow-gold iPad Pro, a blue leather iPad Smart Cover as well as an orange Apple Pencil holder, an item Apple doesn’t currently offer in any color. The estimated price for these one-off items is predictably high: between $14,000 and 21,000 for the set. That would make it the most expensive iPad ever.
“Jony Ive showed a prototype mobile phone at the Design Museum in 1990, long before he started working for Apple,” reads the auction item description. “He was winner of the museum’s first ‘Designer of the Year’ award in 2003 for the iMac. To support the museum, he and his team in Cupertino have designed this special iPad Pro in a unique colour numbered Edition 1 of 1.”
However, this won’t be the most expensive Apple device auction that’s ever been held. Back in 2013, Ive and his industrial designer friend Marc Newson teamed up with Sotheby’s to auction off a number of Apple-related items. During that auction, a special edition red Mac Pro was sold for a whopping $977,000.
I had a chance to visit the museum for the first time back in September, and its reputation lives up to the hype. From delving into the history of branding, to exploring interactive clothing, the Design Museum manages to balance reverence for design history while pushing visitors forward into a tech-enabled future.
One of the most interesting exhibits on display at the time was an array of personal drone prototypes, created by the University Of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre’s (AMRC) Design and Prototyping Group — all of which looked like something you might find doing battle in a sci-fi epic. Yet another installation allowed me to control an interactive dance troupe video by stepping my way around movement-triggered sensor spots in an enclosed room.
If you happen to visit London before the Design Museum’s final day at its Thames location (June 30), I highly recommend it. Aside from the installations, the space itself, and its close proximity to the Thames, are an experience in and of themselves.
The new space will open on November 24. The auction is set to be held on April 28.
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