It’s rare to walk into shops, restaurants and cafes in London and not notice some abstract piece of furniture or lighting on display that doesn’t belong to the famous British designer Tom Dixon. It just shows how fabulous he is at his job that after so many years he is still able to produce endless products that are used, loved and admired in a range of Interiors.
Tom Dixon sparked his interest in design after participating in a pottery and a Life Drawing class in the UK. This is where his first obsession with materiality, manufacturing and form took shape. At the age of 20 he got a job organising events on the English party scene before creating his first objects at the age of 25. His first breakthrough as an industrial designer was the well renowned S chair (which funnily enough was inspired by a doodle of a chicken). This unusual sculptural seat pushed self production into the Italian luxury goods industry, and from there into the permanent collection of the Museum Of Modern Art in NYC. Very quickly, Tom became one of the most talked about avant-garde designers, always seen to be pushing the boundaries with new materials or applying industrial ideas to high-end design.
He was made even more famous with his role as an industrial designer for Eurolounge – A company created for the mass production of the award winning Jack Light – known as the ‘sitting, stacking lighting thing’. In 1998 Tom was recruited as Head of UK Design at Habitat – The position which gave him the opportunity to explore his creativity on a higher level. During his time there he was able to produce some of his most famous products including the birdlounger and the Pylon chair. Tom received an OBE a medal for services to design at Buckingham Palace for service to the British design community in June 2000 and was appointed Creative Director at Habitat 2001.
In 2002, Dixon started his very own British product design brand – Tom Dixon. With a commitment to innovation and a mission to revive the British furniture industry, the brand was originally inspired by the nation’s unique heritage and continues to produce innovative and creative objects for everyday use. This design brand has lead him to partake in so many more huge projects. He has designed objects and interiors for the likes of Terence Conran, Jean Paul Gaultier, Romeo Gigli, Ralph Lauren and Vivienne Westwood.
More recently at the Milan Design week this year Dixon used his collaboration with Caesarstone to use the brands composite quartz material to create four monumental kitchens decorated with a range of the designer’s new and old products. All inside the historic Rotonda della Besana church the installations were built to enhance the idea of the four elements – Water, Earth, Air and Fire.
From his start 40 years ago to now Tom has still held onto the same strong philosophy – A focus on new applications of traditional materials and forms. His amazing craftsmanship can be seen in all his designs making him in an inspiration to many. He has a unique way of thinking which gives him the ability to a design a number of possibilities from just one inspiration source. Who knows what he will think of next!