Tunisian-born Dixon moved to England as a toddler and was raised in London. He trained at the Chelsea School of Art before dropping out to play bass in Funkapolitan, a band that toured with The Clash in its heyday. It was only after a motorcycle accident that Dixon’s passion for industrial design was awakened. During his recovery, he taught himself how to weld in order to repair his motorcycle and then branched out into welded furniture. So began Dixon’s industrious 30-year career.
A household name in the field of industrial design, the self-taught designer navigated his way amongst leading furniture and design studios for a number of years before establishing his eponymous company in 2002. Dixon and his iconic designs — such as the S-Chair, Copper Shade and Mirror Ball — put Britain back on the map as a hub for innovative, thought-provoking design. In particular, the Copper Shade has become a cult classic in the industrial design world.
Today, the ever-expanding Tom Dixon brand has added a range of small gifts and accessories, even collaborating with Adidas on a capsule collection. The brand also includes an interior design offshoot, the Design Research Studio, that produces high-concept interiors, installations and architectural design projects for a wide range of clients. Such projects have included the design for London’s upscale Metropolitan Wharf apartments, the transformation of the Sea Containers House into the chic Mondrian London hotel, and the 1970s-inspired Eclectic restaurant in Paris.
With such novel designs and passion like no other, Tom Dixon has gone from an art school dropout to one of the world’s foremost industrial designers in a matter of three decades. Dixon is a prime example of what the combination of innate talent, drive and perseverance can do.
Written by Nicole Wong
Headline photo by Eclectic