Surprise! Jony Ive’s Christmas tree is a plain fir on a white backdrop

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You were expecting decorations?
Photo: Claridge's

Jony Ive certainly can’t be accused of not applying his minimalist mantra to every aspect of life.

Having previously been announced as the co-designer (with BFF Marc Newson) of the Christmas tree at London’s famous Claridge’s hotel, Ive’s creation was unveiled over the weekend, and — surprise — it’s a plain tree with no decorations, set on a white background.

Really, were we expecting anything different?

The display makes use of unfurnished fir trees, with a shifting light-scheme and some fake snow. Elsewhere, in the hotel’s foyer, is a plain tree devoid of decorations.

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T’was the time before Christmas and all through the night/Not a creature was stirring, not a headphone jack in sight.
Photo: Claridge’s

“There are few things more pure and beautiful than nature, so that was our starting point, layering various iterations of organic forms with technology,” Ive and Newson said. “Our aim was to create an all-enveloping magical experience that celebrates our enormous respect for tradition while recognising our excitement about the future and things to come.”

The typically clinical Apple-esque design comes the week after Apple released a $300 book, with virtually no text, but plenty of photos (on white backgrounds, natch!) of Ive’s products from the original iMac G3 through the present day.

Ive and Newson have previously worked together on a variety of projects for Apple and elsewhere — including an ultra-slick desk for Bono’s charity Product (RED). Newson, meanwhile, has designed an eclectic range of products including everything from Mac Pro-style beer kegs to an ornate classic shotgun to an expensive (if not totally comfortable) aluminum-and-fiberglass lounger.

While the duo’s Christmas tree is certainly less ostentatious than previous trees designed by some of the other folks Claridge’s has brought in for the job, it’s 100 percent in keeping with what you’d expect from a Jony Ive-designed tree.

Although it does, admittedly, make me fear for any bright-eyed children waking up in the Ive household on Christmas day. I’m imagining plain white stockings filled with lumps of perfectly-milled coal in Jet Black. And probably a couple of milimeters thinner than the pieces they received the year before.