Tom Dixon

Designer Dossier

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.

Facts:


  • 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:

  1. Copper shade, 2005
  2. Tripod Stand Mirror Balls light, 2000
  3. Jack light, 1994
  4. Wingback chair and footstool, 2007
  5. S Chair, 1991 for Cappellini, via Woont
  6. Flash Table, 2010
  7. Offcut Fluoro Stool, 2009
  8. Plump Chair, 2008
  9. Screw Table, 2008

Tom Dixon On the Web:

(Images: as linked above)

LIANA WALKER & ELEANOR BUSING