Apple's Chief Design Officer Sir Jonathan Ive's legacy is the signature minimalist look of the iPhone and iPod. In a surprising turn of event, Ive recently designed something completely unrelated to technology. Those who love Christmas trees are in for a shock with the outcome of Ive's design.
London's 5-star hotel Claridge's tasked Ive to design their Christmas tree, which has been done for the past seven years. According to Engadget, Ive along with friend and famous industrial designer Marc Newson worked with Michael Howells on the 2016 Claridge's Christmas tree. Ive's trademark seemed to have been taken into account.
If you happen to travel to Claridge's, you will gaze at a Christmas tree devoid of any decorations. It's far from the usual Christmas tree with lights around it and gifts underneath. Though it may be unconventional for most who love Christmas trees, Ive and Newson made up for it. Claridge's posted on its website that there are four-meter light boxes installed.
Apparently, these objects project "black and white photographic images of snow covered silver birch trees." Those who walk through the hotel lobby will have the same experience when one is walking through a forest. This is caused by "cast models of Scots pine, layered with both natural and photographed silver birch and fir trees." To top it all up, the canopy is of natural green pine.
While moving away from the colorful and joyful feeling of the Christmas season, Ive and Newson described their design as "recognizing our excitement about the future and things to come." They added that the somber mood creates an "all-enveloping magical experience."
This is not the first time that Ive worked together with Newson. They have previously teamed up to create a customized grand piano and the Leica digital camera back in 2013, according to CNN Money. The latter was in support of the HIV/AIDS charity (RED).
As for the Claridge's Christmas tree, the hotel has guests to reinterpret it since 2009. Christopher Bailey's Christmas tree last year was covered with over 100 custom-made gold and silver metallic umbrellas and thousands of motions-sensor lights.
Back in 2013 and 2014, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana designed the Christmas tree. Their theme was inspired by the designers' Italian heritage and childhood memories, respectively. In 2012, McQueens' Kally Ellis decorated the Christmas tree with magnolia branches and lichen moss. Lanvin's Alber Elbaz worked on it in 2011. He used his signature marionettes. The catch is, he chose to put a silk figurine of himself at the top of the Christmas tree.
The first two years of Claridge's Christmas tree, Dior's John Galliano was invited to design it. In 2009, Galliano opted for a tropical tree with snow leopard, dragonflies, and parrots. He switched it to an "under the sea" theme in 2010. The Christmas tree was filled with sparkling silver leaves, pink corals, seahorses, fish, anemones, starfish, and jellyfish.
Ive took the opposite route as he focused on the environment that the Christmas tree is in.