Tom Dixon was born in Tunisian and moved to England in 1963. He dropped out of School of Art, thought himself how to design and today his early works are collectables at auction houses around the world.Martha Taylor-Brown ▼ Saturday November 21, 2009 5:01PM ET
The talented untrained designer
At the beginning, Tom Dixon wanted "to make things", that's why he learned welding, and at his early professional years welding played an important role. Working without a formal education allowed him to develop his own style, and Giulio Cappellini, the first man of the Italian furniture house Cappellini, taught him how design can change industry.
As any other self-taught professional, Tom Dixon try many things in many different areas. Once he was guided by new machine he bought, the next time some material would bring his imagination to life. The talent in him led him to many different projects, from building a well in Zambia, to furniture and lightning.
Back in 1980s, Tom Dixon was named "the talented untrained designer with a line in welded salvage furniture". By the end of the decade he was designing chairs for Italian brands, and by the mid-nineties he had created his company Eurolounge. The next step came in 1998 when Tom Dixon was appointed head of design by Habitat, and he later became creative director.
"Tom Dixon" is a British design and manufacturing company of lighting and furniture established in 2002 by Tom Dixon and David Begg. Just two years later the Swedish company Proventus joined forces with two friends and they established Design Research Ltd, a design and product development holding company.
Tom Dixon works found their place in well-known museums around the world, from London to New York, Boston, Paris and Tokyo. The talented designer earned the Order of the British Empire in 2001, and in 2008 Architektur and Wohnen Magazine recognized him as the Designer of the Year.
During the years, Tom Dixon has created more than 45 products of lighting and furniture and established a large network of dealers in 52 countries. Every year a new collection is presented to the world, of course at the best international fairs like the Milan Furniture Fair, ICFF and 100% Design London. Although the world sees him as a designer, he describes himself as a mix of invention, design and engineering. And that's the best description of his fantastic work. ■