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iMac G3

  • Object:

    Personal computer

  • Date:

    1998 (designed)
    1998-1999 (manufactured)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Ive, Jonathan, born 1967 (designer)
    Apple Inc (designers)
    Apple Inc (manufacturers)

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Philip Steadman

  • Museum number:

    W.29:1 to 4-2008

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The iMac G3 personal computer revolutionised the aesthetics of computers at the end of the 1990s and influenced the shapes and colours of all types of domestic electrical products. The distinctive appearance was due to Apple's Senior Vice President of Industrial Design, the British designer Jonathan Ive. His innovation was to house the computer in translucent coloured polycarbonate rather than giving it a standard grey box, enhancing its presence and appeal to a broad market. This is an example of the first model of iMac G3 computer designed in 1998, which was only available in 'Bondi Blue' and had a tray disk drive. Within a year this was superseded by a model with a slot disk drive and five new colours.

This example was bought about 2000 by Philip Steadman, a Professor at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, who chose it because of Apple computers' reputation amongst designers and architects for graphics capabilities.


1998 (designed)
1998-1999 (manufactured)


Ive, Jonathan, born 1967 (designer)
Apple Inc (designers)
Apple Inc (manufacturers)


Height: 380 mm, Width: 375 mm, Depth: 440 mm

Object history note

This computer was bought at the end of the 1990s by the donor, a Professor of Architecture at the Bartlett School of Architecture at University College London

Historical context note

The iMac G3 introduced a new colourful aesthetic to the design of computer hardware that was very influential on the design of all types of consumer electrical products in the late 1990s.

Descriptive line

iMac G3 personal computer, designed by Jonathan Ive for Apple Inc, 1998, manufactured by Apple Inc, 1998-9, translucent blue and white polycarbonate casing


Electrical appliance; Product design; Household objects; Plastic; Interiors; Shekou; Values of Design; Design Society

Production Type

Mass produced


Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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