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Pixar Names Main Studio Building For Steve Jobs 71

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the suddenly-want-to-work-at-pixar dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Jordan Kahn reports that the main building on Pixar's campus has been named in memory of Steve Jobs who actually played a big role in designing the building itself as CEO of Pixar. Pixar's campus design originally separated different employee disciplines into different buildings – one for computer scientists, another for animators, and a third building for everybody else. But according to Jobs' recent biography, the headquarters was to be a place that 'promoted encounters and unplanned collaborations.' Because Jobs was fanatic about unplanned collaborations, he envisioned a campus where these encounters could take place, and his design included a great atrium space that acts as a central hub for the campus. 'Steve's theory worked from day one,' says John Lasseter, Pixar's chief creative officer. 'I've never seen a building that promoted collaboration and creativity as well as this one.'"
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Pixar Names Main Studio Building For Steve Jobs

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  • In any case, it's good they didn't go the "Ruth's Chris Steakhouse" route.
  • by Spy Handler (822350) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @01:50PM (#41909595) Homepage Journal

    by Samsung, today they named their office Xerox machine after him.

  • by bennomatic (691188) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @01:51PM (#41909613) Homepage
    ...otherwise known as a "walled garden".
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Can you smell the necrophilia?

    Seriously, the guy had a big impact on how people use computing.

    Great. Fine. Wonderful.

    He also loaded us down with a bunch of unpleasant paradigms too.

    He wasn't a saint.

    He wasn't a savior.

    He wasn't some eternally wise and all knowing father figure.

    He was a human being just like the rest of us.

    And according to many, he was an abrasive asshole unless you basically subsumed yourself to his "vision" and sucked up.

    Get on with your lives for chrissakes.

    • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @03:02PM (#41910497)
      Um. Steve Jobs funded Pixar with his personal money for many years during the early years. He bought it from George Lucas who needed money for his divorce in 1983. For the next 11 years or so [wikipedia.org], Jobs put in his own money to keep the company running even though it wasn't profitable. It wasn't until after the 1995 IPO and Toy Story that Pixar was in the black. Naming a building after him doesn't seem like it's grand gesture in that regard.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        It should be pointed out that Pixar originally was a computer equipment manufacturing company that later got into the software buisiness (where Renderman still is a dominant if not high end product line). The point of hiring John Lasseter and other talented animators was to show off the technical abilities of their computer equipment and software. Yes, George Lucas did create the group to do some stuff for Star Wars and the rest of the LucasFilm empire, but they didn't start out even with the notion of ma

    • Much agreed, but he was the driving force behind apple and helped found Pixar. Naming the building after him is perfectly justified, this submission is not.
  • Doesn't matter (Score:3, Insightful)

    by twmcneil (942300) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @01:56PM (#41909655)
    I don't care what they name after him. His legacy will be the thermonuclear war dragging through the courts all over the world now that was started at his behest.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by jasper160 (2642717)
      Apple has submitted a lawsuit claiming the name of building infringes on various trademarks and copyrights.
      • Apple has submitted a lawsuit claiming the name of building infringes on various trademarks and copyrights.

        And named Samsung as a co-defendant, just for kicks.

  • I already commissioned the Steve Jobs toilet.

  • Second chances (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jeffmeden (135043) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @01:59PM (#41909699) Homepage Journal

    At first I thought to myself "I bet it's as ugly as that hideous boat" but after looking at the pictures of the inside and out, it is a very well done building that no doubt has seen a lot of success (Pixar, in case no one was keeping track, has a record of successful moviemaking completely untouchable by any other studio).

    This article is worth a read (plus the extra info linked therein), if for no other reason than the fact that so many offices in the US are hideously designed, constructed, and laid out but there is some sort of unwritten rule of corporate management at a lot of companies to the effect of "the uglier the better". This is hindering the evolution of work in the US, and ultimately hindering growth. Steve Jobs deserves credit for at least seeing the right way to do this.

    • I recall seeing this building on a DVD extra from one of the Miyazaki films (Ponyo?) so it's one of Jobs's accomplishments from before he became very ill. I think the non-yacht came from the period where he was suffering and also saw his wealth skyrocket, which may explain quite a bit.

      He may have been a callous asshole, but this campus is very nicely done. No doubt he claimed credit for the work of hundreds of others on the project as well.

    • by steelfood (895457)

      (Pixar, in case no one was keeping track, has a record of successful moviemaking completely untouchable by any other studio).

      Until Jobs died and Disney completed its takeover. Seen Brave yet?

      • by Anonymous Coward

        (Pixar, in case no one was keeping track, has a record of successful moviemaking completely untouchable by any other studio).

        Until Jobs died and Disney completed its takeover. Seen Brave yet?

        If Brave is the example of a box office bomb [wikipedia.org], then I could image many worse things to befall a company. Nobody said that the movies had to necessarily make everybody (especially you) happy, just that they were profitable and that Pixar's record for making financially successful movies is untouched.

  • by concealment (2447304) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @02:04PM (#41909769) Homepage Journal

    We probably shouldn't forget how much of this idea originated in Christopher Alexander [patternlanguage.com], who posited a "pattern language" for architecture based on the usage of spaces, not the intersection of structural needs. It turned architecture and even computer programming on their heads.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DerekLyons (302214)

      I was about to say, the idea of designing buildings for collaboration is a fairly old one as such things go. I remember reading about it back in the early/mid 90's.

      But, Jobs' reality distortion field persists after his death... and now the idea will be embedded in the 'nets culture as Steve's.

      • Insightful comment; sorry, no mod points. :(

        I was trying to think of something funny to say about this, which kind of bugs me as well:

        But, Jobs' reality distortion field persists after his death... and now the idea will be embedded in the 'nets culture as Steve's.

        But then it occurred to me that Jobs was basically not a new ideas guy. What he was good at was implementation. He didn't make the first audio player, but he made one where all the details were in line and it was easy to use and stylish, thus disti

      • I was about to say, the idea of designing buildings for collaboration is a fairly old one as such things go. I remember reading about it back in the early/mid 90's.

        But, Jobs' reality distortion field persists after his death... and now the idea will be embedded in the 'nets culture as Steve's.

        90s? Try the 5990s BCE. What do you think a longhouse was?

        • One who actually knows something might ask, which type of longhouse? There were several, all designed for different purposes... But that same person (who isn't you) would be compelled to answer - "none of them were designed for collaboration". They were designed for community, which isn't the same thing.

          • One who actually knows something might ask, which type of longhouse? There were several, all designed for different purposes... But that same person (who isn't you) would be compelled to answer - "none of them were designed for collaboration". They were designed for community, which isn't the same thing.

            They were indeed designed for collaboration.
            The difference is your idea of collaboration is sitting on a beanbag chair sipping lattes and stroking thinly-bearded chins while discussing the best way to leverage circle jerk each other for their accomplishments of getting some digital clown to dance.

            Our ancestors though of collaboration as working together to do useful things, such as having shelter, food, fire, tools, medicine, etc. That's why those longhouses were built the way they were - one main entrance

      • by Threni (635302)

        We should probably call it the "magical thinking room". Let's hope it doesn't fall down, eh?

  • by todfm (1973074)

    Kind of odd that the Apple campus is the total opposite, a locked down place where nobody is allowed to talk about what he's working on with anyone outside the project.

  • Pretty much every city has long referred to its job training/unemployment office as the "Jobs Building".

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Makes quite a bit of sense when you think about it.
    Traditional planned meetings are often the very antithesis of of productivity! Most of the time they're just forums for the types of backoffice shit that does nothing to get anything done.

    They're forcibly scheduled, interrupting productive work time.
    Being planned ahead of time, they're open to interference and observation of those that might harm productivity. (Office politics bs)
    Being a formal form with lots of participants, honest (or correct) ideas and s

  • "... encounters and unplanned collaborations..."

    Such as getting accosted, abused, and instantly sacked in a hallway by a sociopathic boss.

  • by martyb (196687) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @03:08PM (#41910583)

    The article suggests that ad hoc collaboration was important for their success.

    Not especially noted, though, and far more important in my mind, is that workers had their own "huts" where they could customize their work space to their liking and which provided isolation from distractions. This, to my mind, facilitates concentration.

    There are times when I want to bounce a problem off someone and get a fresh perspective. More frequently, though, I just want a few hours without interruption or distraction. A 2-minute question from a coworker can require me to take 20-30 minutes to get back into the zone and get my mind back around all the details that I am trying to sort out.

    Providing separate spaces for concentration and for collaboration is the key.

  • That sounds about right.
  • So he cloned Bell Labs down to some pretty specific details. Big deal.

  • apparently the entire parking lot is marked "Handicapped Only" so that everyone can benefit from the inspiration and insight that Jobs himself realized by parking in handicapped areas.

  • They should just have renamed one of the disabled parking spaces in his honour.
  • Say what you'd like about Jobs, he was definitely in touch with what makes it for creative minds and innovative, inspiring spaces.

    I've worked in many different ad agencies over the years, and the ones that brought out the best in me (aside from the like-minded co-conspirators, the good pay, the appreciation from both clients and over-seers) had this type of influential, outside-the-box aura about their domains. Whether it was a full-sized basketball hoop in the creative department, the nooks and crannies fo

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