Claridge’s Hotel in London does this thing every year where it brings in top designers for a Christmas tree installation. It’s a thing across the pond. This year’s designers were Apple Chief Design Officer Jony Ive and his best design mate, Marc Newson. Mr. Newson also works part time for Apple on special projects.

A photograph of Claridge's Christmas tree, designed by Jony Ive and Marc Newson

Claridge’s Christmas Tree by Jony Ive and Marc Newson, Courtesy of Wallpaper

If you check out BusinessInsider, you can see past designer Christmas trees at Claridge’s. They’re often abstract or unusual in other ways. Sir Jony’s and Mr. Newson’s installation goes entirely in the opposite direction.

Claridge’s Christmas Tree Stripped Back to Nature

In fact, it couldn’t be more minimal. Because it’s just a tree. No decorations, no ornaments. It’s just a tree. OK, that’s not true, because there is a lot more to it. There are 4-meter (13-feet) high light boxes and many real trees.

There’s also a soundtrack of forest sounds that is tied to the lighting, which gives you this dappled sunrise-to-night feel. Everything combines to transform the hotel’s lobby into a forest. They did it with the help of set designer Michael Howells.

It’s all an effort to get back to nature for Christmas. The two designers told Wallpaper magazine, “There are few things more pure and beautiful than nature, so that was our starting point, layering various iterations of organic forms with technology.”

And it’s beautiful. There are five photographs in Wallpaper‘s piece, and I recommend them. BusinessInsider took its own photos of the installation.

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Oh dear. Apple has become a parody of itself. Inevitable, I suppose, once you start believing your own bs…

Old UNIX Guy

So now we know what Jony Ive has been doing all these months … clearly he (nor anyone else at Apple) has really been working on Macs. I can only hope that what Jason Snell thinks … that the $10K Apple Watch and the Apple Car were Jony’s pet projects and that their failure means he is on his way out … and that the $300 Designed by Apple In California book is his swan song … are true. Apple will be much better off without Jony Ive. Now if they’d also only bring back Betrand Serlet and Scott Forstall… Read more »


A good example of minimalist design philosophy taken to an absurd conclusion. Simply remove all vestiges of Christmas from the Christmas tree until it is merely a tree, but call it a Christmas tree anyway, because it was “designed” that way. The problem with end-stage minimalism is that it leaves no were to go. It’s a dead end.

Lee Dronick

No surprise that is minimal, but I am wondering why he didn’t make it thinner.

John Kheit

Yea Pootie Tang did it better…


Sounds nice.