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Personal computer - iMac G3

iMac G3

  • Object:

    Personal computer

  • Place of origin:

    Taiwan (assembling)
    China (assembling)
    Ireland (assembling)

  • Date:

    1998 (designed)
    1998-1999 (manufactured)

  • Artist/Maker:

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

  • Materials and Techniques:

    [iMAc G3 personal computer monitor] Rubber and electrical components
    [iMAc G3 personal computer keyboard] Moulded polycarbonate, metals and electrical components

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Philip Steadman

  • Museum number:

    W.29:1 to 4-2008

  • Gallery location:

    National Art Library, room 76, case 21

  • Image in copyright

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 Within a year this was superseded by a model with a slot disk drive and five new colours.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.

Physical description

[iMAc G3 personal computer monitor] Personal computer power lead in opaque grey rubber with red plug.
[iMAc G3 personal computer keyboard] Personal computer mouse in translucent blue and white polycarbonate housing.
[iMAc G3 personal computer mouse] Personal computer keyboard, translucent blue and white polycarbonate housing with black keys.
[iMAc G3 personal computer power lead] Personal computer monitor housed in a translucent blue and white polycarbonate housing.

Place of Origin

Taiwan (assembling)
China (assembling)
Ireland (assembling)

Date

1998 (designed)
1998-1999 (manufactured)

Artist/maker

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

Materials and Techniques

[iMAc G3 personal computer monitor] Rubber and electrical components
[iMAc G3 personal computer keyboard] Moulded polycarbonate, metals and electrical components

Dimensions

[iMAc G3 personal computer monitor] Height: 380 mm, Width: 375 mm, Depth: 440 mm
[iMAc G3 personal computer keyboard] Height: 40 mm, Width: 390 mm, Depth: 140 mm
[iMAc G3 personal computer mouse] Diameter: 75 mm, Height: 30 mm, Length: 600 mm lead
[iMAc G3 personal computer power lead] Length: 1750 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

Materials

Polycarbonate

Techniques

Moulded

Categories

Product design; Electrical appliance

Production Type

Mass produced

Collection code

FWK

Qr_O158296
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