A look inside the secretive Apple Park HQ
Wallpaper* magazine—an international publication dedicated to gorgeous architectural and design photography—has just come out with a set of fifteen exclusive images, giving us a unique glimpse into Apple's legendary headquarters: the Apple Park in Cupertino.
The photographs highlight the activities of the Apple Design team in their natural habitat, which flows in the same line with Apple's well-known taste for minimalism and class in its products.
The Cupertino company has long been known for its secrecy with regards to its products, future plans, and especially when it comes to what actually goes on behind the pristine walls of the perfectly symmetrical, immaculate glass facade of the Apple Park.
Until now, any meetings, discussions and design processes taking place within those walls have been sworn to secrecy, remaining a perfect mystery to outsiders for years. And if any employee broke protocol, they could expect instant termination.
Apart from the lush, green open grounds of the inner courtyard of the Park, we've never really had an idea what the actual work spaces inside looked like. Would they be as drab and grey as most function-over-form American office spaces are, or would they ooze Apple's characteristic inspiration and creativity?
It appears that the latter is true, although the photos are rather limited in number—in the scope of the Apple Park's vastness—and clearly prearranged to highlight what are likely the fanciest parts of the Apple Design Team's quarters.
Evans Hankey and Alan Dye (pictured below) are at the head of the Apple Design Team, and they showed the Wallpaper* crew around the secretive rooms that until now had stood closed to outsiders.
Once you're in, it feels very much like you're walking inside the rather familiar Apple Store setting, which tends to be the same around all the world. Wooden tables, smooth glass surfaces, minimal clutter—the general aesthetic is largely the same inside those rooms at the Apple Park. Warm, comfortable, easy on the eyes, yet highly professional and work-oriented.
The rooms we see range from large conference halls, to smaller, and perhaps cozier design labs. Pictured above is an audio designer, engrossed in the process of creating custom sounds in Apple's Design Studio sound lab.
A few of the photographs captured by Wallpaper* also illustrate the ongoing process of designing the ideal Apple Watch. Although the most recent Apple Watch Series 7 only came out in October, we know Apple is already hard at work on creating the next generation of smartwatches, improving and evolving it from each year to the next.
Apple is well known for "living in the future," not simply because of its avant-garde technologies, but since it tends to always stay prepared for many years into the future—be that by patenting anything and everything years ahead, but because it's often working on the next-next generation of a product, even before the next generation has even come out.
Take the VR/AR headset that is coming out in 2022, for example: there's more than a full year before the headset actually hits the shelves, but Apple is already working on a lighter second-generation headset, before the original has even launched! Unfortunately, the exclusive pictures didn't include any hints about that device in particular.
In its stead, enjoy the following photographs of the Apple Design Team working on perfecting the Apple Watch:
"We knew that the Watch was going to be the most intimate, the most personal product that we’ve ever made," Hankey told Wallpaper* during the interview. "We also knew it needed to get your attention at some point." It would be no overstatement to say that it certainly does that to this day.
Other product design process photographs included the intricate arrangement of other of Apple's signature products, particularly the iPhone and Macbook.