Tom Dixon didn’t just set up a booth at Salone del Mobile; he built a Multiplex. Defined as “a pop-up viewing theatre, broadcasting centre, restaurant, shop and gallery.” Dixon created an interactive experience, which was a refreshing change after two days of seeing furniture on pedestals. “Furniture displays are always so static,” said Dixon as we relaxed in the “viewing theatre” part of his space. CONTINUED + MORE PHOTOS…
Dixon wouldn’t tell me what he’s working on (“it’s top secret”) but my guess is that it is a solution to better address the tech-driven way we live. And this space at Salone is one big experiment to help Dixon find the answer. Dixon opened a restaurant in London just so he could discover what’s missing in this environment. What he learned (and yes, he really works a shift there, preparing cold starters and desserts) led to his Peg Chair (above) and Roll Table. The Peg Chair is lightweight so waiters can move it to accommodate guests, and stackable so the cleaning crew can get it out of the way to wash the floor. The Roll Table has a wonderful base that was inspired by manhole covers (below), plus a built-in wheel.
The reason for the manhole cover is that he has always liked them (there’s more to that story which I’ll share in a later post) and they have history. “They can be around a long time. People look at the label and see who this long-vanished casting company was.” The wheel, obviously, is to make the table easier to move. “To help those poor waitresses who set up a table for four and then a party of eight arrives.”
“Designers who sit behind computers are divorced from the realities of manufacturing, selling and using furniture,” said Dixon. The test-lab approach he employs also resulted in his Etch Collection (below), which is included in our assortment. At last year’s Salone del Mobile, these lamps and candleholders were being assembled on site to test the functionality of flat packing and do-it-yourself assembly.
“I like to think of myself as an up-and-coming designer,” said Dixon. “I don’t want to be an expert.”
I predict we’ll see many more smart solutions coming from this designer.