Design In This Risky Environment? Tom Dixon Likes The Metals

There's apparently even more stability in the design world where everything must be new every season, than there is in the stock market.  And today, when everyone is thinking where should I hide my money, I thought I'd let you know that Tom Dixon still likes 'the metals.'

He's always been a fan of the shiny stuff, but you'll be happy to know, he's still experimenting with it and creating even more beautiful lighting designs with shiny copper, brass, and stainless steel finishes. Here are two from Dixon's 2010 designs.


The Void Lamp By Tom Dixon

Dixon calls the Void Lamps 'mysterious,' and indeed they are; you wonder about how they are made and where the light bulbs are...  From the side and bottom, they could easily be mistaken for a new type of French Horn.  


Void Lamps by Tom Dixon: ©Tom DixonVoid Lamps by Tom Dixon: ©Tom Dixon


But Dixon describes his technique, removing just some of the mystery... "Solid metal sheets are pressed, spun and braised to form a double wall shade. They are hand polished to create a mirror surface which is
lacquered to maintain a high gloss finish. Void makes use of existing techniques and regular
fittings – the innovation lies in the undulating form of the shade."

Yes, the Void Lamp is very sensual and the smooth metal finishing makes it more so.  And there is a light bulb recessed into the lamp, "a powerful halogen bulb that concentrates the light to create a soft directional beam."


Void Lamp by Tom Dixon: ©Tom DixonVoid Lamp by Tom Dixon: ©Tom Dixon


Void Lamps by Tom Dixon: ©Tom DixonVoid Lamps by Tom Dixon: ©Tom Dixon


You have to love Tom Dixon, not only as a designer, but as a activist designer, perfectly at home in all the environments that surround design; the production, the marketing, the delivery... the whole process.  In his new Tom Dixon, Industry magazine Dixon covers it all, and in a way that's so exciting, it makes you wish your were somewhere in the new loops he's created. 

Look at the drawing below... It's from a marketing article Dixon wrote for the magazine, suggesting to industrial building owners that a tea room might be the perfect answer to any odd square footage they may have hanging around their buildings.  He creates a very lofty collage, weaving in the history of tea rooms and even suggests a menu.   There's just a subtle suggestion that his own Void Lamps would fit perfectly in the tea room!


Tea Room Collage by Tom Dixon: ©Tom DixonTea Room Collage by Tom Dixon: ©Tom Dixon



Copper Shades By Tom Dixon

Dixon created his Copper Shades in floor lamp and hanging lamp.  They are both smashing.  If you're wondering why you've never seen copper this reflective, it's because Dixon has used a new process to create the lamps.

The process is called vacuum metallisation.  In this process, "a thin layer of pure metal is exploded onto the internal surface of a polycarbonate globe using an electrical charge."  Glorious!


Copper Shade Floor Lamp by Tom Dixon: ©Tom DixonCopper Shade Floor Lamp by Tom Dixon: ©Tom Dixon


Copper Shade Floor Lamps by Tom Dixon: ©Tom DixonCopper Shade Floor Lamps by Tom Dixon: ©Tom Dixon


Copper Shade Hanging Lamps by Tom Dixon: ©Tom DixonCopper Shade Hanging Lamps by Tom Dixon: ©Tom Dixon


Every time I see a new Tom Dixon design, I wish I could write more about his work... but it would leave me no time to follow other designers....