Violette Editions (June 2013)
Edited by Camilla Belton and Robert Violette
Designed by Matt Willey
Hardback, 632 pages
312 colour plates
20.8 x 15 cm (h x w, portrait)
£35.00 Buy the book / US $49.95 (Autumn 2013) Buy the book
In the first comprehensive book on his work, designer Tom Dixon reveals the inspiration behind his work of the last 30 years.
In his own words, and with hundreds of comparative illustrations, this self-taught designer illuminates the often surprising ideas behind his finished pieces. Dixon transforms notions of plumpness observed in a painting of an overfed pig into an overstuffed sofa; or a fishpan from a Chinese supermarket literally into the seat of a chair; gigantic concrete sea defences on the coast of Japan become the distinctive shape of his famous stacked Jack Light.
On an early 1980s chair, made from welded scrap metal and other found objects, Dixon observes:
I really didn't much like the Sex Pistols, they were aggressive and confontational. But, I do have to admit their influence. They taught a whole generation that you didn’t need a certificate to practice or a degree to be successful. I'd been a musician and I took some of that attitude into furniture.
In personal and accessible notes on each of the 150 pieces reproduced, Dixon offers insights, explanations and the occasional post-rationalisation into his unique and uninhibited design process. Works range from ephemeral handcrafted rarities incorporating salvaged materials, rubber or tissue paper, to mass-produced icons such as the S-Chair, manufactured by Cappellini and now in the collection of The Museum of Modern Art.
Tom Dixon (b. 1959) founded his studio in the 1980s following his discovery of the pleasures of welding while repairing damaged motorcycle frames. He is now one of Britain's leading masters of design, having also produced accessible, high quality objects as Head of Design at Habitat from 1998 to 2008 in addition to his role as Creative Director at Artek, the Finnish furniture company founded by Alvar and Aino Aalto. His current practice, the Tom Dixon brand – lighting and furniture design and manufacturing – was established in 2002. www.tomdixon.net
Dixon's previous books on design subjects include Rethink (2002), an analysis of each room in the modern home, The Interior World of Tom Dixon (2008), a book of ideas and observations on design, materials and style, and Industry (2011), in which Dixon discusses the changing landscape of industrial manufacture and retail. Dixonary is the first monograph on the work of this great innovator.