Modern industrial design is getting ready to embrace a new revolution in terms of production and communications, says Tom Dixon
WHO Tom Dixon, designer
WHAT Tom Dixon founder of his eponymous company, which designs and manufactures lighting and furniture
WORKS Asia launch of ‘Industry’ collection; Tazmania Ballroom, Hong Kong
WHERE Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore
Last year was a busy year for you – you launched your new collection in Milan and London, followed by a number of touring exhibitions and events. What has the response been like to your new collection?
It’s been good. I don’t think many furniture companies were expanding much in 2010; it’s been a tough time in the industry. We ambitiously came up with lots of new ideas and are taking them out in new ways. Furniture is a very conservative business, and we need to budget in a slightly different way. We were able to succeed.
How does the name of your new collection, ‘Industry’, relate to the design concept of the products?
The idea of making things has always been a big part of my inspiration. ‘Industry’ is a word that covers all aspects of making, and often associates with new ways of making, works. The Etch lamp is a combination of my thought processes, of how modern industry is becoming much more flexible, where you can make things in different countries and circumstances. You can also make things faster and get customers more involved in the manufacturing of an object.
What was the idea behind your ‘Flash Factory’ workshop – an event in which participants are invited to assemble your Etch light on the spot?
The idea is about the ease of becoming a publisher/editor of your own objects in the modern world. When I first started making objects, it was very hard to manufacture them in your own country. In England, we’ve lost a lot of industry and there is this thought that you have to make things in really big quantities – it suggests that you have to go a long way away to be successful.