John Tree
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About

John Tree is a London based product designer

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About

I’m a London-based product designer, currently dividing my time between personal clients and Jasper Morrison's office. 

Having previously worked as a senior designer for Sony in their London and San Francisco design centres, and within a consultancy environment while at FM Design, my work is built upon a broad knowledge of technology, markets, materials and processes.

Contact

email: enquieries@johntree.net

instagram: @johntree_

 

John Tree Ltd. 2014 - Present day

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I am currently working with a range of established and new manufacturers, developing products across multiple categories, from high-end, small-run items through to mainstream mass-produced commercial items.

I also advise on design, strategy and branding projects. While the majority of my clients are established brands, a significant proportion are companies still at the start-up stage. 

My approach to design is characterised by flexibility – driven by a desire to balance context, function and production. This work is often a process of reducing and refining. I seek to produce an economy that enhances both a product’s character and, where possible, its lifespan. 

 

Jasper Morrison Ltd. 2001 - Present day

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I joined Jaspers Office in 2001, overseeing a period of expansion from the office’s core work on furniture and household goods to large-scale product design projects for international consumer electrical and electronics manufacturers, including Motorola, Samsung, Olivetti and Rowenta. 

The office currently works for a spectrum of market-leading, design-led furniture, lighting, product and houseware companies. 

I lead a small, flexible team working in multiple disciplines. We cover all stages from concept generation and development through to detailed engineering and production, working on a very broad range of projects for both large and small organisations, often sited in multiple locations around the world. 

In addition to working directly with clients, I am also responsible for the day-to-day running of the office: a very varied role which includes archiving, photography, press and PR, occasional exhibitions and the Jasper Morrison Shop which promotes a selection of our products and other, carefully curated and often anonymous items sourced from around the world.

Jasper Morrison Ltd

The Jasper Morrison Shop

 

Sony Design Centre San Francisco 1999 - 2001

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Prior to joining Jasper’s studio I was employed by Sony Electronics at their Design Centre in San Francisco. 

As a Senior Designer I led a number of experimental and research projects based around emerging web technologies in Silicon Valley. Our small team combined digital services and opportunities with Sony's traditional hardware strengths to explore possible products and experiences that would form Sony's digital future. 

Our office’s unique laboratory-type approach was also used by some of Sony’s internal business groups to incubate internal start-up projects, such as the eMarker: designers were involved from the outset, as products were being defined – rather than arriving towards the end of a project and simply deciding on a product’s aesthetics. 

Alongside my research activities I also worked on a series of applied design projects, ranging from mobile phones, televisions, audio and photography equipment through to category-defining product ranges like the Sports S2 range.

Sony Design

 

Sony Design Centre Europe 1995 - 1999

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When I initially joined Sony I was based at the European Design Centre. Our focus was on designing for the European market, particularly for products where manufacture was also localised. 

In contrast to the working methods at Sony’s head office in Tokyo, we had the benefit of working simultaneously on multiple product categories. As a result, I was able to quickly gain experience on a wide range of products including mobile phones, televisions, radios and Walkmans, with responsibility from first concepts right through to production. These projects involved working with marketing, engineering and product planning teams across Europe and in Japan, where production often took place. 

The European Design Centre was also responsible for keeping its finger on the pulse of local design trends. This meant that I frequently attended trade shows and design fairs, and had significant responsibility for long-term planning and conceptual projects for the European market.

 

Teaching

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I have an on-going relationship with the Royal College of Art in London, and have served as a visiting tutor on the Products and Innovation Design Engineering courses. I occasionally run larger teaching projects in conjunction with course tutors, and also contribute by bringing in external clients to brief and work with the students. 

I was a member of the assessment panel for the Masters Product Design program at ECAL in 2016, and have acted as an external assessor for the University of Arts Product Design course in London. 

I have also been a visiting tutor at Kingston University, The Icelandic Academy of Arts, Coventry University and ECAL in Lausanne.

Royal College of Art

Kingston University

ECAL

 

Recognition

I have been awarded an iF Design award in Hanover, the Red Dot design award (twice), a Gold "G-Mark" Good Design award in Japan, been selected for the Millennium Product Collection, and received an Elle Deco award for British Design. 

My work has also been widely featured in publications including Domus, Casamica, Creative Review, Design Magazine, Elle Deco, Frame, Icon, I.D. and Wallpaper. 

My designs have also been exhibited at the Design Museum in London and as part of other international and travelling exhibitions. A padlock of my design is held in the permanent collection of New York’s Museum of Modern Art. 

I also hold numerous international patents, as both sole and joint inventor.

Patents

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