In Conversation: Tom Dixon
The prolific and internationally celebrated industrial designer on innovation, the merits of being self-taught and why he wouldn’t want to be orthodox…
Produced by Dan Keefe
Interview by Betty Wood
Lighting and Camera Genki McClure
Sound by Kurt Howard
Edit and Grade by Jack Williams
by Sun Ra
Dixonary, released earlier this summer, charts the evolution of Tom Dixon’s designs over the course of his 30-year career. From failed prototypes to iconic design classics like the Jack Light, and with a refreshing candidness, Dixon reveals the journey behind the designs and the difficulties encountered along the way.
Dixon’s career is characterised by a willingness to experiment, to diversify, and an adaptability that has seen him start out in an economic recession, and weather several more. Whether it’s the music industry where he started, or architecture (where he’s currently setting his sights), Dixon sees his work “through child-like eyes”, driven by an insatiable curiosity to understand the world around him, and make it better through good design. What’s also clear is that, like a child, Dixon is unfazed by the concept of failure as an end – it is simply the step before success. This sense of optimism, which sits against a rugged industrial aesthetic, unifies Dixon’s work and goes some way to accounting for the success he continues to enjoy.
At his Ladbroke Grove headquarters, we sat down with Tom to discuss the evolution of his career, becoming a brand outside of himself, and why the things that “fell apart” are just as important as the designs that made it to the shelf.
Dixonary: Tom Dixon is out now through Violette