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Pixar Names Main Studio Building For Steve Jobs

Unknown Lamer posted about a year and a half ago | from the suddenly-want-to-work-at-pixar dept.

Businesses 71

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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71 comments

Two Hugh Pickens Articles in Three Hours! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41909439)

Looks like we're getting our Ponca City spam en masse today.

You're breaking the rules, Unknown Lamer :-)

Re:Two Hugh Pickens Articles in Three Hours! (2)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about a year and a half ago | (#41910195)

First they name a building, or recognise a day in your honor.

This is the inevitable prelude to destroying everything you'd ever done or stood for.

Re:Two Hugh Pickens Articles in Three Hours! (0)

tehcyder (746570) | about a year and a half ago | (#41917069)

First they name a building, or recognise a day in your honor.

This is the inevitable prelude to destroying everything you'd ever done or stood for.

They should just have commsiioned a statue of a great big fucking pile of money, which is what Jobs made. All the rest of the design and creative work was done by somebody else. Maybe they could have a little plaque each.

Who fucking cares? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41909499)

Seriously Slashdot!...

Meet you (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41909555)

"I'll meet you in the lobby of 'Arsehole campus'".

Re:Meet you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41909827)

Is that near hepatitis hallway, room C, around the corner from AIDS alley?

-- Ethanol-fueled

What was the previous name? (1)

srussia (884021) | about a year and a half ago | (#41909571)

In any case, it's good they didn't go the "Ruth's Chris Steakhouse" route.

Man. All the Steve Jobs love. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41909617)

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.

Re:Man. All the Steve Jobs love. (4, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year and a half ago | (#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.

Re:Man. All the Steve Jobs love. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41911757)

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 making movies like is their main product line at the moment.

The ironic thing is how Pixar, after their leveraged buy-out of the Walt Disney Corporation (depending on your point of view on how that took place.... Steve Jobs did end up becoming the largest shareholder of Disney before he died) ended up picking up their original "parent" company on what amounted to be pocket change. Well, it was a straight cash deal I suppose, as Disney certainly is profitable enough that the terms for the LucasFilm purchase were quite favorable to Disney and all George Lucas got out of the deal was just cash.

Naming this building after Steve Jobs certainly is very appropriate.

Re:Man. All the Steve Jobs love. (1)

partyguerrilla (1597357) | about a year and a half ago | (#41911059)

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.

Re:Man. All the Steve Jobs love. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41916185)

Much agreed? At risk of pushing a fight, I have to ask what was insightful or even agreeable with parent's comment? AC's premise is that Steve Jobs was a human just like the rest of us and according to many, an abrasive asshole if you didn't share his vision. Thus, let's get on with our lives and not miss him or pay homage to his memory in some way. Okay... so how about the list of other people for whom we name buildings and bridges, or tell stories, or post photos with quotes? None were saints, not even the saints. None were saviors. None were eternally wise and all-knowing. None were not human just like the rest of us. Why don't we all go out right now and pull down every statue in every park in every city of the world? Why praise dead musicians, artists, architects, or actors? Why praise statesmen even? They were all human. They're just like us. Nah, AC is just an asshole hopping on the trendy contre-hipster bandwagon of bagging on Steve Jobs because it's cool. It doesn't matter that he at least recognized Jobs had an impact on people. It's only been a year since he passed. Ten years from now, the youtube memorial vids will stop coming and we'll stop hearing about Steve Jobs in the press. Until then, he can exercise a little fucking patience.

Re:Man. All the Steve Jobs love. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41917375)

It's actually quite interesting how Steve Jobs seems to have acquired some kind of position of a modern day Jesus.

Doesn't matter (3, Insightful)

twmcneil (942300) | about a year and a half ago | (#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:Doesn't matter (3, Funny)

jasper160 (2642717) | about a year and a half ago | (#41909747)

Apple has submitted a lawsuit claiming the name of building infringes on various trademarks and copyrights.

Re:Doesn't matter (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year and a half ago | (#41910037)

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.

Douchebag central? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41909657)

Isn't there a building like that in washington d.c already?

As of late last night (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41909789)

We just re-elected the great undocumented Chicago gangster post-racial affirmative action baby, again.

Think of The Bell Curve, Idiocracy and Brave New World in a blender.

And maybe Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death.

Ah, statistics with shitty analysis. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41909953)

Think of The Bell Curve, Idiocracy and Brave New World in a blender.

Ah yes, that book. A perfect example of the abuse of correlation. Another famous abuse was a few years ago when it was pointed out that all of the "Blue" states had a higher proportion of educated people compared to the "Red" states. Ergo, the Republican is a party for uneducated ignorant people and Democratic Party is for educated informed people. Although, the studies about Fox News viewers has reinforced this belief.

Re:Ah, statistics with shitty analysis. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41912193)

$16T in debt proves your point. It isn't the uneducated that got us in this hole.

Second chances (4, Insightful)

jeffmeden (135043) | about a year and a half ago | (#41909699)

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.

Re:Second chances (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year and a half ago | (#41909985)

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.

Re:Second chances (1)

steelfood (895457) | about a year and a half ago | (#41910955)

(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?

Re:Second chances (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41913265)

(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.

Re:Second chances (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41910973)

"...so many offices in the US are hideously designed, constructed, and laid out..."

Because most companies really don't give a rat's ass about it's employees. They're replaceable, off-shoreable--in essence, they're at the company to make the company money, and NOT to be seen nor heard, certainly not to be creative and happy.

Yes, bitter much.

Current company is definitely the tops in my book, though!!

I hope it looks nicer than... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41909701)

that hideous yacht!

They named it *for* Steve Jobs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41909707)

So Steve Jobs told them: "You know, I cannot name it myself any more, so please do it for me"?

Re:They named it *for* Steve Jobs? (2)

Desler (1608317) | about a year and a half ago | (#41909753)

What's the issue? "For" in this context means "in honor of". It's a perfectly valid usage. Grammar Nazi fail.

Re:They named it *for* Steve Jobs? (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | about a year and a half ago | (#41909821)

What's the issue? "For" in this context means "in honor of". It's a perfectly valid usage. Grammar Nazi fail.

Not to mention the fact that clearly Steve Jobs does *not* have the ability to make building name decisions any more, so it very well could be that they intended to name it according to his wishes, and given the nature of his ego "The Steve Jobs Building" was the most desirable version. "Get back to fucking work, and do it right this time" was a close second, I bet.

Probably a whoosh, but I'll explain anyway (1)

CodeheadUK (2717911) | about a year and a half ago | (#41911231)

In the UK (can't speak for anywhere else), things and people are named 'after' other things and people.

I.e. I was named after my uncle who died in the war.

To be 'named for' something sounds as odd on this side of the pond as 'named after' sounds to you guys over there.

Back on topic. FWIW, I think Jobs was a huge douchebag generally, but saving Pixar was one of the best things he did and I thank him for it.

Re:Probably a whoosh, but I'll explain anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41911341)

In the UK (can't speak for anywhere else), things and people are named 'after' other things and people.

I.e. I was named after my uncle who died in the war.

This just in: there are idiosyncratic differences between English speakers in different countries. Shocking! The Euro-snobbery gets old.

To be 'named for' something sounds as odd on this side of the pond as 'named after' sounds to you guys over there.

Why would "named after" sound odd to me? I've heard and used both.

They should tweak the name (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41909713)

"Steve Jobs Center for Reality Distortion"

What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41909761)

They already had a building named "DeadBeat Father"?

Architecture as a Pattern Language (5, Interesting)

concealment (2447304) | about a year and a half ago | (#41909769)

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:Architecture as a Pattern Language (2, Insightful)

DerekLyons (302214) | about a year and a half ago | (#41910635)

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.

His specialty was implementation (1)

concealment (2447304) | about a year and a half ago | (#41910941)

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 distinctive, as a result. Same thing with the Macintosh interface, Apple TV, and so on. He specialized in a certain way of doing things well, and this building is no different.

Re:Architecture as a Pattern Language (1)

sexconker (1179573) | about a year and a half ago | (#41911161)

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?

Re:Architecture as a Pattern Language (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about a year and a half ago | (#41911513)

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.

Re:Architecture as a Pattern Language (1)

sexconker (1179573) | about a year and a half ago | (#41921497)

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, a back area for grain storage, an area for sleeping, and an area for living and working together. It is the very definition of collaboration, especially seeing as how they all collaborated to build the damned thing in the first place.

Re:Architecture as a Pattern Language (1)

Threni (635302) | about a year and a half ago | (#41912281)

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

Odd (1)

todfm (1973074) | about a year and a half ago | (#41909781)

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.

Late to the party (1)

DriedClexler (814907) | about a year and a half ago | (#41909785)

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

Funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41909795)

It's funny to hear the digs against Steve copying the work of others and putting his own name to it from a bunch of Linux fanbois.

Re:Funny (2)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about a year and a half ago | (#41910005)

The problem is not about copying other's work. But copying other's work and claiming it as your own and even preventing every one else from adopting it. Even apple fanbois can recognize the hypocrisy.

Re:Funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41910119)

Um, no. The statement came about because of the Xerox remark. Don't try to change this into something it isn't. If nothing else Xerox got paid for their trouble.

Re:Funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41910133)

I think he was alluding to the linux / SCO trouble.

Unplanned brilliance. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41909879)

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 statements are discouraged for ones that are more polite or politically correct.
Often they're just held so managers can justify their existence.
They're held in a sterile, isolated environment away from the workplace where all the ideas are actually implemented.

How many stories of greatness and innovation have you heard that go like this:
I ran in to Jack in the test lab and he was playing with this great new device. In a moment of inspiration I realized how this could tie in to my own project! Five minutes later we were sketching out a prototype, and we were so excited we worked through the night until we had a working concept!

Versus this:
After 20 months of daily four hour collaborations, involving everyone from the Janitors to the CEO, we finally established a referendum to create a board to name a commity to study the feasibility of market researcher to establish the presence of demand of product that combines.. (Whatever the above pair of guys did with 5 minutes of planning and 8 hours of impromptu work)

encounters and unplanned collaborations (1, Informative)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about a year and a half ago | (#41909951)

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

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

Not perfect (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41910049)

The building has some drawbacks. The basement and all mechanical apparatuses are completely sealed-off. Renovations or upgrades are out of the question, if not impossible. Nevertheless, it's easy on the eyes and came in a great box.

Chief Creative Officer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41910093)

...pretty much says it all.

"Unplanned collaborations" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41910103)

Is that a slang term for "I'm copying your stuff and taking credit for it"? Because Steve certainly was a huge fan of that.

So... (0)

VonSkippy (892467) | about a year and a half ago | (#41910335)

Selfish Rich Fuck had too many letters???

All this Saint Jobs bs is crazy. Did I miss the announcement about the Jobs Foundation (ya know like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) being formed?

Maybe it was pushed below the fold by the HUGE USELESS FREAKING YACHT news.

Re:So... (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year and a half ago | (#41910529)

Please read on the history of Pixar [wikipedia.org] and then make up your mind. Jobs did a lot for Pixar and thus Pixar feels they need to honor him somehow.

2nd choice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41910407)

They were going to name it after someone else, but " Asshole Atrium," had such a nice ring to it.

Collaboration, yes, AND Concentration! (3, Insightful)

martyb (196687) | about a year and a half ago | (#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.

So they called it the Ego-Tyrant building? (1)

elabs (2539572) | about a year and a half ago | (#41910671)

That sounds about right.

Re:So they called it the Ego-Tyrant building? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41913601)

Wow. You're real original. Asshole.

Jobs was (continues to be) greatest humanitarian (-1)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | about a year and a half ago | (#41910749)

Because:

The world needs more Pixar movies and not another cure for cancer.

The world also needs more yachts you can't afford.

The world needs more glass buildings to reduce the lineups.

The world needs more video of bald people in black clothes in front of white screens.

The world needs 16 versions of the same thing, and then need 16 more slightly modified versions 6 months later.

The world needs Foxconn to expand their production lines so more children can find work. Think of the children damn you!

The world needs more landfill space to get rid of old iDevices released in the same fiscal year.

The world needs more hyperbole and self gratifying statements.

Jobs's idea? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41911041)

This is something mr Edwards Deming was promoting since 1980's in the form of a book and via word of mouth before that. See Key Principle nr 9: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._Edwards_Deming#Key_principles

Weird behavior (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41911449)

Typically, where I come from (the coast of NH, USA) people tend to become if not more respectful of someone after their death, at least not brazenly insulting to their memory unless they did genuinely horrible things (like leading a KKK sect or promoting genocide). The general impression I got was that the person was no longer able to defend his own honor and as such warranted a more objective perspective (that and sparing the family ongoing grief about their loss).

I have never seen the need to own an apple product, never bought one myself and always thought the ferver some people did have for apple products to be silly. Still, reading these comments you'd think the guy was the reincarnation of Stalin - he did nothing well or worthy of some level of respect?

So sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41912439)

And yet nothing named after Ed Catmull

innovation in parking.. (1)

LodCrappo (705968) | about a year and a half ago | (#41912685)

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.

Wow. Talk about a blast! (1)

Patchw0rk F0g (663145) | about a year and a half ago | (#41917109)

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 for one-on-one art director/copywriter collaboration, the amenities and sheer discorporation of the space, or the openness of the overall layout, there's something about a well-wrought, well-thought-out and inviting creative space that invites a mass of creative thinking, and ensures that the creation of great art is foremost.

Great job, Jobs. Put this one in the win column.

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