*HCS* NYTimes.com Article: Apple's Cubist Epoch Entered the Museum as It Exited Stores

Paul A. Gusmorino 3rd pgusmor at fas.harvard.edu
Fri Aug 17 15:35:44 EDT 2001

This article from NYTimes.com
has been sent to you by pgusmor at hcs.harvard.edu

Dear HCS, I thought this story was just too funny not to pass on...



Apple's Cubist Epoch Entered the Museum as It Exited Stores


True, it looks like it belongs in the Museum of Modern Art," read an
advertisement from Apple Computer last year. "But the G4 Cube is actually a
supercomputer that belongs right on your desk." Now, less than a year after
its introduction, the Cube is indeed in the Museum of Modern Art; and out of
production. The Cube was acquired for the Modern's design collection, along
with six other Apple products, shortly before Apple announced the Cube's

"The personality of these objects is incredibly important," said Paola
Antonelli, the curator of Workspheres, a recent exhibition that included
several Apple products. "These objects give more meaning to the desk and the
work. They are pleasant companions."

Steven P. Jobs, Apple's chief executive, said that while his company was
"surprised and honored" by the inclusion in the Modern, "the reason we care
about design has more to do with touching the everyday lives of users."

The Museum of Modern Art already owns an original Macintosh from 1984, a
Macintosh SE from 1987 and a QuickTake; a digital camera ahead of its time;
from 1994.

For Mr. Jobs, product design is as important as architecture. The eight-inch
Cube, which had no cooling fan, radiated a Zen-like calm, but sales did not
live up to expectations.

"That was not a failure of design," Mr. Jobs said. "It was a failure of
concept. We targeted the Cube at a professional audience. We thought they
would rather have something small on the desk than expandability and we were
wrong. It was a wrong concept; fabulously implemented."

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