Apple vice president of industrial design Jonathan Ive was rewarded with the Design Museum's first designer of the year award yesterday.

The Design Museum recognized Ive's innovative designs - from the CRT iMac to Apple's market-leading iPod MP3 player. The Brit-born expatriate - who started out as a toiletware designer - wins £25,000.

A graduate of Newcastle Polytechnic, Ive has received a list of accolades in his career, with the New York Times calling him "perhaps the most influential designer in the computer world". Ive also won the Design Museum's public poll. A total of 20,000 votes were cast.

The Guardian reports fashion designer and Design Museum jury member Sir Paul Smith, who said: "Jonathan's designs have touched millions of people's lives and transformed the workplace. He once designed a computer mouse by observing a drop of water - that's lateral thinking."

Ive beat three other finalists, including Grand Theft Auto: Vice City from Rockstar Games; jewellry designer Solange Azagury-Partridge, creative director for Parisian jeweller Boucheron; and London glassware, lighting and furniture designer Tord Boontje.