Apple's Ive and Newson unveil unadorned fir trees for Claridge's Christmas installation

Posted:
in General Discussion edited November 2016
Apple CDO Jony Ive and part time company collaborator Marc Newson on Saturday unveiled their awaited interpretation of Claridge's Christmas tree in London. The installation, which is quite literally a small grove of completely bare fir trees, once again proves the pair of industrial designers masters of the austere.


Source: Wallpaper


Clairdge's Christmas tree installation is something of a tradition in London, and for many marks the start of the holiday season. Every year the swanky hotel commissions a world-renowned designer to reimagine the festive arboreal symbol in their own style. Last year it was Christopher Bailey from Burberry, and before that Claridge's called on Dolce & Gabbana, Christian Dior, Dalian and others.

For 2016, Ive and Newson had their turn and delivered not one, but a thicket of unadorned fir trees, reports Wallpaper. Just as Apple's spartan device designs are supported and enhanced by powerful hardware and software, so are the trees augmented by a technologically advanced set design.

Ive and Newson collaborated with British set designer Michael Howells to create a winter wonderland. Large 12-foot tall light boxes light black-and-white images of birch trees, creating a sense of depth. Cast models of Scots pine intermingle and give way to a ceiling of natural green pine.

Strategically placed lighting choreographed to an acoustic showcase of forest sounds filters through the branches, cycling from sunrise to moon-filled night, as faux snow covers the floor and the odd tree stump.

"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," the pair said. "There are few things more pure and beautiful than nature, so that was our starting point, layering various iterations of organic forms with technology."

Set off among the grove of real, fake and imagined trees is a small sapling, bathed in pure light from above. The startling juxtaposition is intentional, the designers said, as the growing fir represents the future.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 62
    Glad to see Jony expressing himself more publicly in other spaces outside of Apple.

    Without his creative partner in tech, Steve—it's clear that Apple is not enough to fulfill his discipline anymore.
    repressthiscalitallest skil
  • Reply 2 of 62
    That just looks boring and uninspired.  Christmas is a season of celebration and joy (and this is explicitly called the Claridge CHRISTMAS tree installation).  

    There is nothing about that setup that makes me feel joyful.  Complete fail by Ive.  Ive is usually really good about tying function and design, but this just looks like some shallow attempt to produce something "chic."
    duervoanantksundaramblastdoorbobrootyler82wetlanderbdkennedy1002k2kwkoban4max81tommikele
  • Reply 3 of 62
    irelandireland Posts: 17,547member
    Nice hobby. Also notice Ive in the promo video for the new book, he looks happier and more enthused than he's seemed in years. Nurturing your talented people is a hallmark of a great company. And it would not surprise me at all, at all if the book project gives birth to important product ideas going forward. It sends a good message to Apple employees too—look, this is why we're here.
    edited November 2016 repressthischialolliverpatchythepirate
  • Reply 4 of 62
    That just looks boring and uninspired.  Christmas is a season of celebration and joy (and this is explicitly called the Claridge CHRISTMAS tree installation).  

    There is nothing about that setup that makes me feel joyful.  Complete fail by Ive.  Ive is usually really good about tying function and design, but this just looks like some shallow attempt to produce something "chic."
    In a huge fan of Ive's work and have been for a long time. 

    But it I agree here. 

    Great design relates to the purpose. This does not. 

    Does it it look nice? Sure. 

    But it it's almost spooky. Not celebratory. 


    duervoanantksundaramgeorgie01perkedelwetlanderkoban4max81
  • Reply 5 of 62
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,783member
    That just looks boring and uninspired.  Christmas is a season of celebration and joy (and this is explicitly called the Claridge CHRISTMAS tree installation).  

    There is nothing about that setup that makes me feel joyful.  Complete fail by Ive.  Ive is usually really good about tying function and design, but this just looks like some shallow attempt to produce something "chic."
    In a huge fan of Ive's work and have been for a long time. 

    But it I agree here. 

    Great design relates to the purpose. This does not. 

    Does it it look nice? Sure. 

    But it it's almost spooky. Not celebratory. 


    You two sound those anonymous bozos on YouTube criticizing the performance of a Chopin Mazurka by Arthur Rubinstein.
    edited November 2016 pscooter63Soliwilliamlondongeorgie01lolliverjony0patchythepirate
  • Reply 6 of 62
    Distilling a Christmas tree down to its most essential parts—the tree. Cool. Very much in line with Ive's design principles.
    williamlondonration albaconstangThe_Martini_Catlolliverwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 8 of 62
    I stopped decorating family Xmas trees long ago, opting to place landscape lighting on the pines just outside our family room window. I can't control the timing of the weather, but there is nothing to compare to the magic of new fallen snow on the trees in out neighborhood, nor of walking under a forest canopy at any time of year.

    I'm a fan of this.
    irelandration aldysamoriarob53baconstangrepressthislolliverwelshdogjony0
  • Reply 9 of 62
    "That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown."
    edited November 2016 ration albobroobaconstangwetlanderjony0
  • Reply 10 of 62

    It's cold and desolate.  

    I cant say the tree stumps add any warmth.

    Santa will be pissed.

    duervoanantksundaramperkedeldysamoriaavon b7wetlanderjansabaitechprod1gy
  • Reply 11 of 62
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,594member
    Having not experienced this first hand I find it out mpossible to pass any kind of judgment. It clearly is an installation created to be experienced. But I applaud I've, Newson & Howell for taking on the challenge. One thing is creating an object to with a clearly defined purpose, function and physical limitations though an endlessly iterative design process. Delving into a one time exhibit that is steeped in tradition and of which just about everybody has a preconceived idea that is as much shaped by recent culture and commerce as by any kind of religious notion, would be intimidating, I'd imagine. You have to be brave to go out on a limb in such a big way. Specially considering the attention this will get. 
    irelandwilliamlondon
  • Reply 12 of 62
    That just looks boring and uninspired.  Christmas is a season of celebration and joy (and this is explicitly called the Claridge CHRISTMAS tree installation).  

    There is nothing about that setup that makes me feel joyful.  Complete fail by Ive.  Ive is usually really good about tying function and design, but this just looks like some shallow attempt to produce something "chic."
    You know unless Ive had a 100% say on what the creative process was, he was more than likely working with an art director who gave him vision and it was Ive's job just to use his creative abilities to execute that vision. 
  • Reply 13 of 62
    lkrupp said:
    That just looks boring and uninspired.  Christmas is a season of celebration and joy (and this is explicitly called the Claridge CHRISTMAS tree installation).  

    There is nothing about that setup that makes me feel joyful.  Complete fail by Ive.  Ive is usually really good about tying function and design, but this just looks like some shallow attempt to produce something "chic."
    In a huge fan of Ive's work and have been for a long time. 

    But it I agree here. 

    Great design relates to the purpose. This does not. 

    Does it it look nice? Sure. 

    But it it's almost spooky. Not celebratory. 


    You two sound those anonymous bozos on YouTube criticizing the performance of a Chopin Mazurka by Arthur Rubinstein.
    Excellent example of nonsense!
    baconstang
  • Reply 14 of 62
    Those trees look surprisingly thicker than I was expecting. That's odd.
    perkedelavon b7wetlander
  • Reply 15 of 62
    lkrupp said:
    That just looks boring and uninspired.  Christmas is a season of celebration and joy (and this is explicitly called the Claridge CHRISTMAS tree installation).  

    There is nothing about that setup that makes me feel joyful.  Complete fail by Ive.  Ive is usually really good about tying function and design, but this just looks like some shallow attempt to produce something "chic."
    In a huge fan of Ive's work and have been for a long time. 

    But it I agree here. 

    Great design relates to the purpose. This does not. 

    Does it it look nice? Sure. 

    But it it's almost spooky. Not celebratory. 


    You two sound those anonymous bozos on YouTube criticizing the performance of a Chopin Mazurka by Arthur Rubinstein.
    A couple of words of advice for what it's worth. Your comments about people being bozos is not helped by an avatar that screams "LOOK AT ME, I AM A BOZO!!!"

    Assuming, of course, that you accidentally forgot your '/sarcasm' tag. In which case, please accept my apologies. 


    dysamoria
  • Reply 16 of 62
    jkichlinejkichline Posts: 1,331member
    Wow. Bunch of non-designers and armchair art critics peer upon a single, poor photograph of a lighting installation and pan it as rubbish.  Some art and design needs to be experienced and is not easily captured by a photo on a webpage.  I think the same thing goes for other designs and products of Ive.  Stop judging things by the simple and myopic view your web browser gives you into the world.
    williamlondonration alpscooter63baconstanglolliver
  • Reply 17 of 62
    Unless you actually see the installation it would be next to impossible to pass a considered judgement.
    I get the feeling that there is more to is than can be conveyed via the internet.
    Perhaps these fabled Apple Augmeted Reality glasses would be a great way to let more people see and experience it?

    I may get a chance to drop by in a week or so when I'm in that part of London.
    With the drop in the $/£ (and better value for you Americans) why not pop over here for a bit of Christmas shopping and see for yourself eh?

    One thing that has pleased me so far about this thread and that is there has so far been none the inevitable cries of
    "Where's the new <insert Apple Product name here>? It has been soooooo long since it was updated"


    Donvermochiawilliamlondonbaconstanglolliver
  • Reply 18 of 62
    Wow, I must say that what Ive and his team has done has far surpassed everything I tried to imagine a Christmass Tree from him would look like.

    To go the totaly unexpected and very bold way.

    When compared to previous trees from other "designers", one can clearly see the difference between "first plan" decoration and art.

    This is "installation" guys! Have you ever been to an art gallery? You have to experience it. To hear it, to see the change of lights and to feel it.

    There is much more to it than just to look at a tree, say "well that looks nice", take a picture and resume shopping activities.

    To call this "boring and uninspired", well, there is something rotten, sad and depraved with our perception of Christmas.

    (sorry for my english)
    Deelronwilliamlondonration alpscooter63baconstanglolliverpatchythepirate
  • Reply 19 of 62
    That just looks boring and uninspired.  Christmas is a season of celebration and joy (and this is explicitly called the Claridge CHRISTMAS tree installation).  

    There is nothing about that setup that makes me feel joyful.  Complete fail by Ive.  Ive is usually really good about tying function and design, but this just looks like some shallow attempt to produce something "chic."
    In a huge fan of Ive's work and have been for a long time. 

    But it I agree here. 

    Great design relates to the purpose. This does not. 

    Does it it look nice? Sure. 

    But it it's almost spooky. Not celebratory. 


    Actually I have to disagree, the set seems like it is meant to instil a sense of serenity. The true meaning of Christmas is not about gold, glitter and presents, it's about celebrating the birth of Jesus and to reflect for a moment on the sanctity of life. If anything this set seems to capture this feeling way more than any other over the top treasure trove of presents I have seen throughout the years. If this set is supposed to communicate what this holiday is really about, Ive is spot on here.
    SoliJanNLration alpscooter63baconstang
  • Reply 20 of 62
    lkrupp said:
    That just looks boring and uninspired.  Christmas is a season of celebration and joy (and this is explicitly called the Claridge CHRISTMAS tree installation).  

    There is nothing about that setup that makes me feel joyful.  Complete fail by Ive.  Ive is usually really good about tying function and design, but this just looks like some shallow attempt to produce something "chic."
    In a huge fan of Ive's work and have been for a long time. 

    But it I agree here. 

    Great design relates to the purpose. This does not. 

    Does it it look nice? Sure. 

    But it it's almost spooky. Not celebratory. 


    You two sound those anonymous bozos on YouTube criticizing the performance of a Chopin Mazurka by Arthur Rubinstein.
    And you sound like "that guy" who criticizes people who actually know what they're talking about, yet you have no idea why. 

    Good of luck with that. 
    dysamoria
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