In the 1980s, British style icon Tom Dixon broke onto the global design scene with a suite of radical creations forged from welded salvaged steel. He has since continued to make a mark on the landscape with his futuristic lighting fixtures and sculpted furniture pieces. In 2017, he even ventured into personal care and home care products.
In late May, the peripatetic Londoner unveiled his latest venture: a new design studio on Greene Street along with The Silver The Black and The Blue, a sleek new pop art-inspired home collection to present within it. Robb Report caught up with Dixon to chat about his latest domestic offerings and what inspires his creativity most.
What prompted your move into NYC?
Over the past two years, our physical expansion has been indicative of an evolution in our identity. Our brand has become a widely celebrated global force in interior design with a strong presence in Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Tokyo–and now New York. New York City has become a true epicenter for the brand’s approach to design and core hub so that our brand now spans multiple continents.
Had you experimented with pop-up shops in the city before?
We held a pop-up location on Howard Street, which was open from 2016 until our new permanent opening at 25 Greene Street. The new space—at one time a chandelier shop—boasts more than 6,700 square feet on two floors.
There was a mention of Jeff Koons in your recent press release. Was the artist—notable for his flashy Balloon Dog sculptures—the sole inspiration behind your latest collection?
Not entirely. While we took our cues from some of his works, we’ve also been inspired by fetish rubber, space age silver, and pop art blue—opting for a crisper, cleaner, and more futuristic palette for this year. The Silver The Black and The Blue all feature a rigorous application of a super glossy black, a sharp, precise stainless, and electric blue. We also have a new, related collection of bathroom lights, our Hot+Wet line.
Do the new pieces—which range from lighting to seating and textiles—reference your past work in any way?
The new collection is characterized by a series of recognizable silhouettes, which we have rethought through the power of color. We will always be associated with copper, brass, and glass regarding our lighting and chair sculptures, but we’ve really turned the corner regarding our textiles research from having fun with screen printing and boucle knitting even coming soon, more glass, more ceramic, and more surprises.
And anything else you might want to share with our readers about what is inspiring you most at the moment?
Fields such as sculpture and engineering, architecture, cooking, painting, custom motorcycles, and, of course, music—specifically punk, disco, and gospel—all have influence on my approach. However, my approach and inspirational catalysts have often been from such a wide range of manufacturing and craft techniques: weaving, welding, carving, and ceramics. Design and architecture movements that have informed my approach to design over the years are Brutalism and ’60s radical architecture, African carving, Arte Povera, the Kitchen Sink movement, the ’20s, the ’70s, British figurative sculpture, abstract expressionism, psychedelia, the constructivists, and so many more.