Last month we heard that Apple design guru Jony Ive and long-time friend and collaborator Marc Newson had agreed to design this year’s festive tree for the lobby of Claridge’s, one of London’s most prestigious hotels.
It’s a tradition that started in 2009, with designers such as Burberry’s Christopher Bailey, Dolce & Gabbana, and John Galliano all having offered their personal take on the Christmas tree in years past.
Claridge’s has just unveiled Ive and Newson’s work for Christmas 2016, and while the entire installation fills the whole lobby, the tree itself is – as we expected – a minimalist effort. And then some.
Sure, it’s an evergreen conifer, but it looks to have been designed by someone who didn’t have time to get to the store to buy some decorations. Because the tree has nothing on it.
Perhaps Ive was too busy with other tasks such as designing the next version of the MacBook Pro to unapologetically put back in all the ports that Apple recently removed, though with Ive and Newson’s shared taste for simplicity, it’s safe to assume this is exactly how they wanted it.
As for the hotel, on its website it says – probably with some relief – that this year’s design is “much more than a Christmas tree.”
Working with acclaimed British set designer Michael Howells, Ive and Newson have come up with a “magical, snow-covered forest [featuring] four-meter-high light boxes that glow with black-and-white photographic images of snow-covered silver birch trees, set on a pure white floor.”
In a joint message posted on Claridge’s website, Ive and Newson offered a few words about the inspiration for their design: “There are few things more pure and beautiful than nature, so that was our starting point, layering various iterations of organic forms with technology.
“Our aim was to create an all-enveloping magical experience that celebrates our enormous respect for tradition while recognizing our excitement about the future and things to come.”