Forget phones, laptops, and smartwatches. Jony Ive’s next design masterpiece will be a Christmas tree.

Apple’s design chief is partnering with long-time buddy and collaborator Marc Newson to create this year’s festive tree for the lobby of London’s upmarket Claridge’s hotel. It’ll be unveiled on November 18.

Claridge’s has been inviting renowned designers to create a Christmas tree every year since 2009, with previous contributors including Burberry’s Christopher Bailey, Dolce & Gabbana, and John Galliano.

Don’t imagine for a minute that Ive and Newson will be artfully placing different-colored tinsel and heavy-duty glass balls on a conventional Christmas tree. Instead, expect something minimal though at the same time possibly a touch outlandish. Expect something unapologetically Christmassy. And expect at least a little bit of aluminium aluminum.

Claridge’s general manager Paul Jackson is clearly stoked at getting Ive and Newson involved. “Christmas has always been a truly special time of year at Claridge’s and we are delighted to welcome our friends Jony and Marc to spread their legendary creative magic this year,” Jackson said on the hotel’s website. “We truly believe their innovative spirit and ground-breaking approach will make this year’s annual tradition one to remember for our guests.”

Related: Use these social media cards to create great festive posts

Ive and Newson have already worked together on a number of projects, mainly for charity. In 2013 they created a one-off special edition Leica M camera that auctioned for a whopping $1.8 million, and also designed unique versions of existing Apple products such as the Mac Pro and Apple earbuds.

Cementing their creative partnership, Newson joined Apple in 2014, working under Ive as senior vice president of design.

We may know a fair bit about Ive but Newson, it’s fair to say, is less well known. However, the Australian has created a broad range of striking work over the years for clients that include Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Qantas, Nike and Ford. You can check some of it out on his website here.

Ive is certainly in no doubt as to the level of his friend’s talent, describing him in a Vanity Fair interview as “without question one of the most influential designers of this generation.”

So let’s wait and see what the pair come up with for their Claridge’s Christmas project.



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