How The Mid Century Aesthetic Influenced Steve Jobs.

Sounds like a weird title, isn’t it? But it’s true…the mid century architecture somehow influenced Steve Jobs and his choices in business.

I don’t have to tell you who Steve Jobs was, what I probably have to tell you is that he influenced and inspired many of my personal decisions in the last ten years at least and that I was really touched when he died.

It was natural, for me, to buy the [amazon_link id=”1451648537″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Walter Isaacson official Steve Jobs biography[/amazon_link] that just come out on Monday.

Today I started to read the book and -once again- I felt a connection with Mr. Apple.

As you all probably know, Jobs was born and raised in California exactly during the post war -so called mid century- period where some of the greatest mid century architects and designers built amazing houses and designed revolutionary objects: as Richard Neutra, Isamu Noguchi, Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen, Rodney Walker etc.

But what gave the most mid century touch to many Californian areas were the modernist inspired houses built by the Eichler building company; in one of them Steve Jobs grew up.

(image via atomicpear)

I want, then, to quote a part of the book where Jobs describes his memories and feelings about those amazing houses and how the mid century architecture influenced his sense for beauty.

The Jobses’ house and the others in their neighborhood were built by the real estate developer Joseph Eichler, whose company spawned more than eleven thousand homes in various California subdivisions between 1950 and 1974.

Inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s vision of simple modern homes for the American “everyman,” Eichler built in-expensive houses that featured floor-to-ceiling glass walls, open floor plans, exposed post-and-beam construction, concrete slab floors, and lots of sliding glass doors.

“Eichler did a great thing,”Jobs said on one of our walks around the neighborhood. “His houses were smart and cheap and good. They brought clean design and simple taste to lower-income people. They had awesome little features, like radiant heating in the floors. You put carpet on them, and we had nice toasty floors when we were kids.”

Jobs said that his appreciation for Eichler homes instilled in him a passion for making nicely designed products for the mass market. “I love it when you can bring really great design and simple capability to something that doesn’t cost much,” he said as he pointed out the clean elegance of the houses. “It was the original vision for Apple. That’s what we tried to do with the first Mac. That’s what we did with the iPod.” ” (Walter Isaacson – Steve Jobs – Simon&Schuster)

To read that he praised the mid century aesthetic, made me feel a bit ‘special’ today and I just wanted to share this feeling with you.

Do you have any special memory about mid century that you would like to share? Start a conversation leaving a comment!

Thanks for reading and ciao.