Designer: Tom Dixon, born 1959 (age 53)
From: Sfax, Tunisia. He moved to Great Britain at the age of 4.
Industrial designer Tom Dixon is something of a household name in Britain. His designs, which range from punk-influenced metal chairs to shiny, spherical lighting, have been part of the national design lexicon for decades, and his "design for the people" high street shop Habitat has put a little of that magic into every home.
Growing up in London, Dixon was always a creative person but quickly realized that he would not get what he needed out of art school. So at 21, he made a change. After dropping out of the Chelsea School of Art in London, he tried his hand at other forms of expression. He played bass guitar in a band and taught himself to weld. The band didn't last, but his love and talent for furniture design did.
- Primarily self-taught in design.
- Was a member of Funkapolitan - described as a 'British blue-eyed funk band.'
- Began experimenting with welding after a motorcycle accident; attempts to repair his bike led to creating furniture instead.
- His first serious collaboration was with Italian furniture manufacturer Cappellini.
- Was Creative Director of UK furniture retailer Habitat from 1998-2008.
- Was awarded an OBE for services to British Design in 2000.
Quote: "Unhindered by commercial concerns (I had my night job,) or formal training, I made things just for the pleasure of making them. It was only when people started to buy that I realised I had hit on a form of alchemy… I could turn a pile of scrap metal into gold."
Attended: Chelsea College of Art and Design, but dropped out after six months.
Known For: Industrial style design — bold materials, sleek lines and bright colors.
Representative Pieces Shown Above:
- Copper shade, 2005
- Tripod Stand Mirror Balls light, 2000
- Jack light, 1994
- Wingback chair and footstool, 2007
- S Chair, 1991 for Cappellini, via Woont
- Flash Table, 2010
- Offcut Fluoro Stool, 2009
- Plump Chair, 2008
- Screw Table, 2008
Tom Dixon On the Web:
(Images: as linked above)
LIANA WALKER & ELEANOR BUSING