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head of design UK at Habitat, where he re-issued archive designs by Verner Panton, Ettore Sottsass and Robin Day as well as commissioning new pieces from Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Ineke Hans and Marc Newson. He continued to initiate new projects as an independent designer and as creative director of Artek, the Finnish furniture manufacturer founded by the architect Alvar Aalto in the 1930s. Today, Dixon is creative director of the Tom Dixon furniture design company and also runs the Design Research Studio, which specialises in interior design schemes and projects that have included Shoreditch House, Paramount, Habitat on Regent Street and Tokyo Hipsters Club. The Studio’s most personal project, however, must surely be Portobello Dock on the Grand Union Canal at the upper end of Notting Hill. The site is home to the Tom Dixon Shop and, more recently, the Dock Kitchen – originally a pop-up restaurant launched to celebrate London Design Week (and the opening of Portobello Dock) in 2009. The restaurant – helmed by rising star Stevie Parle, who was recently voted Young Chef of the Year by Observer

Food Monthly – proved so successful that it never closed. Last autumn it was re-designed and re-launched in its expanded, permanent form, doubling in size to accommodate 80 covers. Showcasing Dixon’s love of raw, honest materials, the Dock Kitchen features floors and tables clad in natural lava stone

I was immediately hooked on welding. It suited my impatience perfectly, giving me the opportunity to build, destroy, adjust and remake structures instantly

from Mount Etna, which have been hand-glazed and painted in a small factory in Sicily by surface specialist, Made A Mano. Danish innovators Sort of Coal have produced a custom-made wall installation using layers of different types of charcoal from the Kishu mountain region of Japan, and, of course, furniture and lighting from the Tom Dixon collection. With a career spanning over three decades, Dixon has become an icon within the design industry. Awarded an OBE for services to British design in 2000, his unorthodox career has seen him create furniture and lighting using a myriad of ground-breaking processes and unusual materials. His pieces may form part of the collections of the Boston Museum of Fine Art, the Design Museum in London, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, MoMA in New York, the Tokyo Museum of Modern Art, the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Vitra Museum, in Switzerland, but for Dixon, that’s only just getting started. Asked by Wallpaper* magazine which of his products will, in 500 years time, have stood the test of time, the designer replied: “I still haven’t made it... Next year’s production maybe.”  Portobello Dock, Ladbroke Grove, W10; tomdixon.net

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Profile for Domus Nova

Domus Nova Spring Summer 2011  

Domus Nova Spring Summer 2011

Domus Nova Spring Summer 2011  

Domus Nova Spring Summer 2011

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