Apple’s Jony Ive made a Christmas tree, and it’s exactly what you’d expect

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.”

So what do you think? How does it compare to the pair’s other collaborations, such as the one-off Leica camera or their solid gold earpods?


How doctors are fighting Alzheimer’s with a cleverly designed VR game

After three years, the mobile game Sea Hero Quest has generated millions of hours worth of data that could help researchers find the next step in how we diagnose and understand dementia and Alzheimer's.

It’s time to check out the best Apple Watch deals for August 2019

The Apple Watch has surged to prominence in recent years. If you're in the market for an iOS wearable, we've sniffed out the best Apple Watch deals available right now for all three models of this great smartwatch.

Best alternatives to Google’s preinstalled Android apps

Want to get away from Google's preinstalled Android apps, such as Gmail, Google Calendar, and Maps? These are the best alternatives to the apps that come with your phone, which are pretty great, but not for everybody.
Emerging Tech

Artificial tree promises to suck up as much air pollution as a small forest

Startup Biomitech has developed an artificial tree that it claims is capable of sucking up as much air pollution as 368 real trees. It could be a game-changer for cities with limited free space.
Emerging Tech

Mars 2020 rover now has a rotating array of drill bits for sampling Martian rock

Most the key components in the Mars 2020 rover are installed and ready to go. The next phase of construction was to install the bit carousel, an important mechanism for the gathering and sorting of samples from the Martian surface.
Emerging Tech

NASA selects landing site candidates for OSIRIS-Rex to sample asteroid Bennu

Last year, the OSIRIS-REx craft arrived at asteroid Bennu, from which it will collect a sample from the asteroid to be brought back to Earth. Now, the NASA team has selected four potential sites to choose from for the sampling mission.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Racing drones and robotic ping pong trainers

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

NASA wants to send two more missions to Mars to collect rock samples

With its Mars 2020 mission, NASA hopes to collect samples from the surface of the planet. The challenge is how to get those samples back to Earth. Now, NASA has revealed its plans for two followup missions to Mars.
Emerging Tech

Eric Geusz: Apple engineer by day, spaceship designer by night

An Apple software engineer by day, artist Eric Geusz spends his nights drawing everyday household objects as amazing, science fiction-style spaceships. Check out the impressive results.
Emerging Tech

The black hole at the center of our galaxy is flaring and no one knows why

At the heart of our galaxy lies a supermassive black hole, Sagittarius A*. Normally this giant monster is relatively docile, but recently it's been a hotbed of unexpected activity, rapidly glowing 75 times brighter than normal.
Emerging Tech

SpaceIL’s crashed lander may have sent thousands of tardigrades to the moon

When the SpaceIL craft Beresheet crashed into the moon earlier this year, it left more than just an impact mark. Thousands of micro-animals called tardigrades were along for the ride and may have survived the crash.
Emerging Tech

NASA’s satellite projects will study the sun using solar sailing

Small satellites can be used for all sorts of purposes, and NASA has been searching for ideas to push ahead the capabilities of the hardware. The agency has announced two new projects to demonstrate the potential of small satellites.
Emerging Tech

Hubble captures a beautiful cosmic jellyfish made of glowing gas

A new image from Hubble might look like a deep-space jellyfish, but it's not a sign of extraterrestrial life - in fact, it's a planetary nebula called NGC 2022, located in the constellation of Orion (The Hunter).
Emerging Tech

Parker Solar Probe makes a second orbit of the sun, captures solar wind on video

The Parker Solar Probe, launched last year, has completed its second orbit around the sun. To celebrate, the team responsible for the probe has released a video showing solar winds in action.