Tom Dixon: On the Hot Seat

Today I thought about writing Tom Dixon with a long talk about him with a friend. If you know him then you might love to read about his life and designs. If you don’t know him then you better read this post to know more about his interesting life.


Dixon’s D-I-Y approach to design matched the post-punk mood of the early 1980s. Having made his name – but little money – by making and selling limited editions of his welded furniture – chairs such as the S Chair and Pylon Chair – he tried his hand at retailing, by opening a shop, Space, to sell his products, then manufacturing through the company Eurolounge which produced his work and that of other designers, like Michael Young.

The International

Dixon continued his collaborations with other designers in his “first proper job” as head of design at Habitat, where he has reissued archive designs by Verner Panton, Ettore Sottsass and Robin Day as well as commissioning new pieces from Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Ineke Hans and Marc Newson. He continues to initiate new projects as an independent designer and as creative director of Artek, the Finnish furniture manufacturer founded by the architect Alvar Aalto in the 1930s. “A kind friend once described me as a ‘vertebrate designer’,” Dixon said. “That means that I design from the bones outwards and am not really interested in surface.”

tom dixon, lighting, furniture, australia


Do you want to how he normally work. Let hear how he explains it himself recently in an interview  with design museum, “Some days I work as a designer, but the bits that really interest me are the invention, engineering and marketing rather than the actual process of designing. I think that effective designers tend to be interested in the whole chain. Robin Day, Verner Panton and all those people really felt that they were going to change everything through design. It’s a very humbling way to look at it. I think designers now are much more concerned about the shape of the object and their own personal evolution within it. And I think a good designer is somebody who manages to put together all the elements – an understanding of materials and a belief in improving functionality – then puts the shape on last as a result of all those experiments. I’m a designer very occasionally. I tend to be on the periphery, occasionally popping out a product which is designed mainly through an interest in materials and technologies.”

Dixonary: Pre S-chair 1986

Dixonary: Serpentine Sofa 2003

Dixonary: Bird Chaise 1991

This entry was published on October 26, 2013 at 12:00 pm. It’s filed under Inspiration, Opportunities and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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