I had the pleasure of attending the Tom DIxon event at the V&A Museum on Friday. Tom presented his new book 'Dixonary' which is the first major monograph on his career. It was brilliant to hear Tom talk about the start of his 30 year career in 'design', the many and varied inspirations for his work and exploration of materials and processes that lead to some of the most iconic british designs.
Tom Dixon is one of Britain’s best known and most innovative product designers. A self-taught child of the punk era, his design career began when he discovered the pleasure of welding while repairing damaged motorcycle frames.
First famous for the S-chair he made for Guido Cappellini, Dixon became Head of Design at Habitat in 1998. He was creative director of Artek, the Finnish design studio established by Alvar and Aino Aalto, and established his own company in 2002.
It was also interesting to learn, through questions from the audience - that Thomas Heatherwick was an intern at Tom DIxon one of the audience members drawing parallels in their work & Tom's view on constructive criticisim within design education. Having been through the design education system I can't help but feel Tom is correct in saying that critcism too early on in the design can damage the creative process and would have meant, for Tom at least, that some of the pieces may not have made it into production for being seen as failures too early on. I enjoyed seeing the frankness and openness with which Tom discusses these, allowing us to look at a 'failure' opens the doors for exploration of what might be successful.
Highly inspriational designer and one of my icons of design. Thanks Tom.