Why cre­at­ing new prod­ucts still in­spires Tom Dixon

This en­dur­ing de­signer con­tin­ues to sur­prise, writes Robyn Wil­lis

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Home - - FRONT PAGE - More Dedece, dedece.com; Tom Dixon, tomdixon.net Main pic­ture Emily An­drews

Chances are, you al­ready know the work of UK de­signer Tom Dixon. His light­ing ranges in par­tic­u­lar have dom­i­nated de­sign in re­cent years, hov­er­ing over ev­ery­thing from kitchen is­land bench­tops to glam­orous speak-easy bars.

Tom was in Syd­ney last week to talk about his lat­est ven­ture — de­sign­ing the lobby in the new Quay Quar­ter precinct at Cir­cu­lar Quay due for com­ple­tion in 2022 — and to spend some time at the Dedece show­room that stocks his brand be­fore its re­launch as a re­tail des­ti­na­tion in a cou­ple of months.

From the in­side out

While he might be best known for his prod­ucts such as light­ing, fur­ni­ture, glass­ware and ac­ces­sories in­clud­ing can­dles, Tom is no stranger to in­te­rior de­sign.

“When I started my own brand (in 2002), we did the in­te­ri­ors to fund the prod­ucts,” he says. “I think it’s odd that more prod­uct com­pa­nies don’t have their own in­te­rior de­sign arms.

“It has de­fined d the range we have and nd it’s the per­fect test­ing g ground for prod­ucts.”

In­deed, his in­te­rior t i spaces are jew­ellery boxes of rich colours, warm metallics and tac­tile sur­faces de­signed to take peo­ple out of their ev­ery­day ex­pe­ri­ence. They also com­monly in­clude prod­uct from his range.

Tom says the lines be­tween do­mes­tic and pub­lic spaces have def­i­nitely blurred — and that’s a good thing for ev­ery­one.

“When work be­came more mo­bile, we thought peo­ple would want to stay home to work,” he says. “But they’d rather ex­pe­ri­ence a bou­tique ho­tel lobby while they work.”

Of­fice spaces are also be­com­ing more home like, he says.

“It’s in­ter­est­ing to see how peo­ple are grav­i­tat­ing more to­wards a do­mes­tic work en­vi­ron­ment,” Tom says. “When this first started, we thought peo­ple wanted a pla play­ground at work with pool ta­bles and bean­bags but that tha has all shifted.” While the 24/7 work cy­cle has its lim­i­tat lim­i­ta­tions, from a de­sign per­spec­tive, ti th there i is a bright side, with beau­ti­ful prod­ucts be­ing cre­ated that can take the hard knocks. “We’re de­sign­ing prod­uct that will be at­trac­tive enough to use at home but tough enough to work in a bar,” he says.

The metal urge

Tom is best known for his metal light fit­tings, and it’s still a ma­te­rial he loves work­ing with.

“Weld­ing metal is the thing that in­tro­duced me to de­sign,” he says. “For a long time, I didn’t think of my­self as a de­signer — I made things for the plea­sure of it.

“The beauty of metal is that, un­like wood or ce­ramic where you have to have a plan, with weld­ing you can place things to­gether and in­stantly you get a strong struc­ture.

“There is some­thing very ap­peal­ing about the flex­i­bil­ity of the ma­te­rial.”

He thinks the rea­son the light­ing ranges have been so suc­cess­ful is be­cause we’re more com­fort­able with con­tem­po­rary fit­tings.

“There’s an ac­knowl­edg­ment that be­cause it’s elec­tri­cal, it’s al­lowed to be a bit more mod­ern,” he says. “Peo­ple tend to be more con­ser­va­tive in their fur­nish­ings.”

But as fast as he de­signs it, Tom says his de­signs are copied and sold as repli­cas.

“Copy­ing is so en­demic, “he says. “It was shock­ingly early to have so many knock-offs on the mar­ket — it’s al­most im­pos­si­ble to know how to deal with it.

“Our stuff is ex­pen­sive but it’s ex­pen­sive be­cause it’s made on a small scale. We are never go­ing to have Ikea prices be­cause it’s not made in an Ikea way.”

Tom Dixon is best known for his pop­u­lar light­ing ranges. He en­joys the pos­si­bil­i­ties of work­ing with glass and metal.

The new Bump glass­ware col­lec­tion in­cludes vases and teapots (above left) while the Tank de­canter (above right) is per­fect for whisky.

Tom de­signed this bath­room in Lon­don.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.