He won’t be in Milan this April. Instead, Tom Dixon is travelling the world for three months to visit the most interesting points in his network. We chatted with him at Xtra’s Singapore showroom.
March 15th, 2018
After his enormous Multiplex show within a cinema and galleria on Milan’s via Manzoni last year, Tom Dixon is taking it quietly this year. But in Tom Dixon terms, ‘quietly’ means a three-month trailblazing adventure around the world.
After launching a flexible sofa with Ikea recently, he’s now travelling to the reaches of his network with a new black version of his Melt light (which appears black when turned off and transparent when turned on) and other novelties in his suitcase. “It’s a sort of anti-Milan, which is about all the people who’ve been supporting us in all those other points in the world,” he told Indesignlive.sg at the Xtra showroom during his Singapore stopover.
“I was plotting the more interesting points in our network – from Dakar to Tehran to Auckland to Vancouver – and thinking, isn’t it interesting how it’s not always the most obvious places that are either the most enthusiastic or the most long lasting?” he said with reference to his partners and supporters around the world.
Sitting out Milan also gives Dixon and his team the time to focus on some pressing developments – including moving his London studio to King’s Cross and relocating his New York store. He is currently marketing a range of textiles and accessories – a product category that grew into his portfolio of furniture and lighting through a desire to make his London showroom feel more like a shop.
“[The accessories] open up [the brand] to a fresher, broader clientele and give you a much faster read on what people are interested in or not,” Dixon explained. “I like that things are more accessible and dynamic in terms of our ability to try out new techniques and have adventures in different settings, like food. It dovetails into my restaurant ambitions as well. It makes the whole thing come alive, rather than having a dusty old chandelier shop.”
Dixon’s world tour highlights the unusual condition he has established for himself: more in line with the fashion industry than the furniture and product world, he is at once a designer with his own personal image and personality, and a brand with its own persona.
“The evolution right now is about going from being mainly a wholesaler to being an effective retailer. That’s what the London, New York and Hong Kong shops are about, where we’re able to present our stuff in a more complete way in our own spaces,” he says.
Dixon’s current obsession, however, is an unusual underwater project he’s been trialling in the Bahamas for the last four years. “I’m trying to grow furniture underwater. You can pass a current through a metal framework and it will grow a natural concrete from the calcium in the water,” he explained. “The first test was eight chairs and two tables. But in principle you should be able to put in permanent structures – to protect from beach erosion and to graft on corals that have been knocked off by shipping.”
The process, he clarified, comes from the non-profit Global Coral Reef Alliance. “There are a few test projects in Indonesia, mainly concentrating on regenerating coral. But I reckon there’s a bigger context, which is creating jobs for local coastal communities, protecting from erosion, and encouraging marine life to cluster in these places. You could create a sustainable model for eco tourism. But it’s in its infancy. Four years has just proved I can grow the damn stuff, and that it makes interesting objects.”
Keep up to date with the latest and greatest from our industry BFF's!
Channelling the enchanting ambience of the Caffè Greco in Rome, Budapest’s historic Gerbeaud, and Grossi Florentino in Melbourne, Ross Didier’s new collection evokes the designer’s affinity for café experience, while delivering refined seating for contemporary hospitality interiors.
In this brand new exhibition, GH Commercial’s custom carpet solutions help local artists create joyful installations that each tell a unique story.
Located in the gallery precinct of Vienna’s historic old town, the V-ZUG brand display team set out to do something different for a new market, and the outcome is breathtaking.
The Sub-Zero Wolf showrooms in Sydney and Melbourne provide a creative experience unlike any other. Now showcasing all-new product ranges, the showrooms present a unique perspective on the future of kitchens, homes and lifestyles.
Discover the latest furniture, lighting and accessories from the 21st edition of the London Design Festival, from previously unseen designs from Mid-Century masters to innovative new materials.
Celebrated British designer Tom Dixon recently landed in Australia to visit, amongst other stops, Sydney’s Quay Quarter Tower (QQT). Dixon’s design firm Design Research Studio was supported by Living Edge to create richly layered interiors at this award-winning building, proving how a global brand can deliver with a local touch.
With the launch of the new Bachli showroom in Melbourne, there is another destination for lovers of fine design where the curated offering of furniture, lighting and accessories raises the bar on beauty, form and function.
The internet never sleeps! Here's the stuff you might have missed
195 Pier Street is a build-to-rent (BTR) housing project in Perth and Hassell’s design just received some approving words from Anthony Albanese, no less!
The revival of Sydney’s Paddington suburb continues as architecture firm Scott Carver unveils ambitious plans to transform the historic Verona cinema into a mixed-use cultural hub.
The spectacular new acoustic lightbox installation at Qantas Domestic Terminal 1 at Melbourne Airport takes flight.