Dear readers,

As we approach 2022, I am delighted to present our January Next Generation issue – highlighting cutting-edge creativity that is shaping the future – and a groundbreaking exclusive, never-seen-before access to the Apple Design Team and their studio at Apple Park.

Apple is that rare institution that has achieved near-universal acclaim, and one of the world’s highest market values, while remaining forward-thinking as ever. This has to do with its long-standing insistence on design as a guiding principle: Steve Jobs was known for saying that design is not just how things look, but about how things work. There’s also the ‘think different’ mantra: as Jony Ive, who led the Design Team for two decades, told us in 2017, they are ‘a fairly tenacious group of designers who are absurdly curious and constantly looking for alternatives’. This culture continues to shape the current Design Team, as VP of industrial design Evans Hankey and VP of human interface design Alan Dye tell us.

This is the first joint interview Hankey and Dye have given, and the first time Apple has opened the doors to its fabled design studio – a cradle of creativity and innovation, and the hub from which it shapes the world’s evolving relationship with technology. The studio is also one of the most faithfully guarded places of our time, as Apple has historically preferred to release impeccably formed products without revealing its inner workings. So I am honoured that the Design Team have made an exception for Wallpaper*, letting us into their inner sanctum to witness design discussions, prototyping processes, and the making of small but integral elements that make every Apple product intuitive – from typefaces to sounds. The ever-brilliant Jason Schmidt photographed it all with warmth and candour, conveying their collaborative spirit, culture of experimentation, and sense of joy.

The Design Team also created our limited-edition cover, which nods to the Apple colour spectrum of the past, and looks to the future with a rainbow graphic that celebrates their ‘many voices, disciplines, cultures and perspectives’. Striking and succinct, the design also nods to Ive’s limited-edition cover for our December 2017 issue. The new cover has the hallmarks of an Apple classic, and the allure of a next-generation Apple product.

Elsewhere in the issue, our ‘22 Rising Stars for 2022’ series features the bold and brilliant projects of recent graduates around the world, from architecture that challenges ableist assumptions to photography that shows the potential and limitations of AI, from cartographic design that highlights the arbitrary nature of national borders to jewellery that communicates the sensory experience of Chinese food culture. We also present a portfolio of ten exciting young architecture studios from the American Midwest; delve into the work of jewellery designer Maria Sole Ferragamo (a member of the Florentine fashion house’s next generation), who created a sculptural necklace from brass shavings exclusively for Wallpaper*; and within our Newspaper section, discover Lumber Club Marfa, an all- girls woodworking club that uses carpentry to build college funds and confidence.

A special thank-you goes to Maison Ruinart for working with us to push the boundaries of paper and print in this issue. Its six-page inside front cover insert is made from the same material as the second skin slipcase for its champagne, an alternative gift packaging solution developed with Pusterla 1880 and paper specialist James Cropper. Importantly, Ruinart has made the unusual decision not to patent its second skin technology in the hope that it will inspire a widespread shift in industry practices. There’s no better way to celebrate the next generation.

Sarah Douglas