At Tom Dixon Studio, metallic orbs glow translucent in the night, stone sculptures take on multi-colored swirls in a top-secret process, and brass vessels that once carried water are transformed into givers of light. While the eponymous founder says he stumbled into his line of work quite by accident, the same cannot be said for the highly intentional, studiously conceptualized designs created by Tom Dixon Studio.
Obsessed with materiality and manufacturing, Tom Dixon Studio is a home for makers of extraordinary objects. Since opening in 2002, the British luxury brand has captivated audiences all over the world with their ever-contemporary, ever-surprising designs—these are just a few of our favorites.
A collaboration creation with Swedish design collective, FRONT, luminaires in the Melt collection are “imperfect, organic and naturalistic lighting objects.” Melt’s process is slow: Blow moulding and vacuum metallization create melted orbs, each retaining its own singular, unduplicable appearance. Creating an otherworldly optical effect, Melt chandeliers, pendants, floor and table lights reflect and enhance their environments with a half-mirrored, hyper-reflective surface while transforming into a translucent color when turned on.
“I wanted really to try and make a chair which had the most elementary components I could think of and to try and reduce the number of elements and the complexity of elements down to the absolute minimum,” says Dixon of the Fat collection. Initially tested at his restaurant in the Coal Office as well as the Manzoni in Milan, this collection is designed to hug the body while allowing for a variety of sitting positions. A testament to form following function, Fat furniture is a balancing act, combining a humorous silhouette with a reductionist aesthetic.
In 2002, Dixon collaborated with the British Council to develop and maintain the skills of street metalworkers of Rajasthan. What were once water vessels, Dixon re-purposed and re-envisioned the everyday piece object as a giver of light. Celebrating the beauty of handmade items, the Beat collection. is made from hand-spun brass sculpted by artisan craftsmen in Northern India. While the fixtures’ polished interiors were originally intended for clean hygiene, the beaten interior also refracts and reflects soft, warm illumination.
A collection of vases, tables, candleholders and bookends, the Swirl collection takes the form of functional and multi-dimensional sculptures. Using a process kept under wraps by the Dixon brand, each piece maintains its own unique color, silhouette and thus, personality. Resembling 3D marbled paper but carrying the weight of stone, Swirl’s process involves recycling powdered residue from the marble industry, and mixing the residue with pigment and resin to create blocks that are sawn, sliced and turned on a lathe.
A custom-made LED by Dixon, the Spring collection features three pendants made from stainless steel strips arranged like a whisk. These steel ribbons create a semi-transparent shape that can be adjusted for a more custom arrangement, from flat like a drawing to round and voluptuous like a pumpkin. Ever seeking the latest in innovative methods, the engineering material used by Dixon for the Spring collection retains memory, dictating the final form of the steel luminaire’s shade.
While the brand has already seen its designs featured in and collected by the Victoria + Albert Museum in London, New York’s MoMA and the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the legacy of Tom Dixon Studio—with all its industriousness, independence and spirit of rebellion—has only just begun.