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Tom Dixon’s Church of Design

At Clerkenwell Design Week this year, British designer Tom Dixon forged an unlikely partnership with Vicar Andrew Baughen, presenting his latest lighting collections within the halls of the St James’ Church.



BY Sammy Preston

May 27th, 2016


The extraordinary volumes, the nooks and crannies of the classic 18th century church provided a perfect, dramatic backdrop for Dixon’s newest pendant lamps and chandeliers Fade, Flask Oil, and Curve.

Pictured below, Curve is a new geometrical light that pushes the boundaries of thin sheet etched metal fabrication. With its microscopic precision-pierced surface and soft nickel silver coating Curve internally reflects and emits a filtered glow of ethereal light.

Flask is a series of three pendant lights inspired by the sharp and functional geometry of chemical laboratory glassware. A cylinder, a sphere and a cone that work in mixed groups or more formal arrangements. Each comprises two components – a clear rippled glass lens which produces a series of concentric, luminous rings, and a black glass shade finished in the latest oily iridescent colour. Unfamiliar in contemporary interiors, lustre and iridescence were much prized by the ceramicists and glassmakers of the arts and crafts period.

The Fade light is a blow moulded polycarbonate light cannon. Its teardrop shape focusses the lightbulb’s output into a satisfyingly round and luminous circle, acting as the ultimate oversized spotlight. The metalized finish is unusual as it graduates from completely reflective to transparent in an even fade along the body of the lamp.

For Vicar Baughen, there was great potential to remake a unique, historic building for the local residents of Clerkenwell, and the creative workforce, and to make a place for the residential community to use as a resource. The Vicar also gave talks on the relationship between design and spirituality throughout the week. At the close of the festival, Dixon donated a Curve chandelier in the main space, the co working environment and a kitchen as permanent fixtures for the community church.


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