I was stunned to hear that Steve Jobs passed away yesterday. It was my exposure to his first Macs in the 80s that opened my eyes to the world of industrial design, the field I went on to study. Over the years I’ve watched, jaw agape at times, as he and his teams at Apple, my friends among them, created not only some of the world’s most beautiful products, but created the very tools and environments that made creativity—and life—in the digital age possible.

To me a Mac represented a creative ideal. I always felt that if I could do work as good as the box I was creating it on, I’d be alright. I still do.

Mr. Jobs, for your design advocacy, for your eschewing of focus groups, for your leadership and vision, for all you’ve done to make our digital world a better place, I thank you.