Jony Ive and Marc Newson have designed a range of products that have little to do with their work at Apple, but their latest is something… different. They’ve worked with set designer Michael Howells on the Claridge’s Christmas tree for 2016, and it largely lives up to your “if Jony Ive designed this, it would…” stereotypes. Just as your new Mac or iPhone is devoid of ports, there are no conventional tree lights in this hotel display — you’ll see 13-foot light boxes beaming images of snow-covered birches, but the actual tree arrangement is bare. It’s like Ive was sent on a mission to destroy your holiday memories with his signature minimalism.
The collaboration isn’t coming out of the blue: Ive and Newson are “long-time friends” of Claridge’s. And while it’s definitely non-traditional, you will remember it if you wander through the hotel’s lobby in the weeks ahead. However, it’s not about to reassure critics concerned that Ive and Newson are devoting less time than they could to Apple products. Wouldn’t it have been great if they’d poured that energy into something more permanent that you could actually take home?