TOM DIXON

Candela Novembre met in London Tom Dixon, the innovative British designer who defines his work as a real game. Dixon tells RedMilk that the beauty of design is that every day is a new day in which he can play...

redmilk_candela&tomdixon_imgWhat is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
You’ve got to brush your teeth: I mean there is no other thing to do first thing in the morning.

What keeps you inspired throughout the day?
What’s keeping me inspired right now is this location. I’m very lucky, considering that we are in London, to have water close by, to have lots of sky. There are so many spaces here where I can eat and meet people, and entertain people. I’ve got an inspirational workplace.

Tom, do you go looking for ideas or do ideas come to you?
I go looking for ideas or I’m  interested in many many things, and when you’re interested in many things, ideas may come to you and make connections between things. I’m interested in sculpture, I’m interested in engineering, I’m interested in manufacturing, I’m interested in materials, and I think the broader your interests are and the more distant from your own profession, ideas and expression are more likely to come through.

What comes to mind if I say DOCK KITCHEN?
A place where we’ve  managed to have an attitude to food which is my attitude, too, and my passion. The idea of simple materials of good quality put together in an unpretentious way, that’s what DOCK KITCHEN is for me.

Do you remember your first work ever?
No, I don’t think I remember my first work… that  depends on what defines work for me. You know, my work is still my play. I started off doing design for fun. Makings things for fun and I never really thought of it as work, too. Which it’s quite good actually. It’s that I don’t need a job but I certainly  need a hobby. The beauty of designing is that every day is a new play day.

So then, what is the latest thing you’ve been playing with?
I’ve been playing, not exactly, with fashion, but kind of. I’ve got a collaboration with Adidas at the moment which has been just jumping in a completely new playground and completely new toys. You know, in the textile business you can play by the same rules but the materiality and the manufacturing techniques are completely different. It’s a completely new window on a whole world I didn’t really know much about. Maybe just superficially from going to fashion shows or buying clothes, but when you get involved in the industrial part of it, the new development in materials, how shoes are put together, it’s a completely different universe that has been very exciting for me.

Tom, imagine if you could develop and realise some of your ideas, with no budget limits, what would you love to do?
I would love to do civil engineering. I quite like bridges and tunnels and  lakes. I think it will be nice to be a Victorian entrepreneur, to be able to do a whole park, to do something  that‘s really earthworks,  moving big masses. It’s very much a boy thing.

So I think there is something about  civil engineering that I really love. I’ve never been good at little cute things like jewellery and I do fancy stuff in a way that’s quite crude, and it would be nice to go even cruder and even bigger in terms. There are some motorways, tunnels and bridges that are very beautiful but all too often they aren’t considered from the perspective of aesthetics, so they are very beautiful things in themselves, but they are not treated as beautiful in terms of the finishing,  or the surrounding areas.

Yes. I’d love to do some civil engineering.

Tom loves?
Surprises.

Tom doesn’t love?
Pretentiousness.

If you weren’t Tom Dixon and you could be someone who inspired you,  who would you love to be?
Jimmy Hendrix.

Your favourite meal in the whole world
No, you can’t do that, it’s like having a favourite baby. What is nice is the variety, and what I like is something new. I find it very difficult to have favourites  because what I like is novelty: it’s tasting or experiencing a new sensation. For example, at the moment I’ve just discovered Korean, in a sophisticated way. It’s very underestimated cuisine, but it’s got it’s own complete palette of flavours and textures that doesn’ t exist anywhere else. I’ll be going to Mongolia soon, so maybe that will be something new that I could love.

Is there anything that people never ask you in interviews that you’d love them to ask?
What I would really love to do is just turn it around and ask the reporter the questions that he’s asking me. The same as photographers, because there’s sometimes something a bit uncomfortable about that, and then you feel like turning the camera around and saying, “Now you know what it feels like.”

It’s there anything in fashion that you know for sure you’ll never wear?
I just think high heels, really. I look at high heels on women with fascination, but I could never wear them. I don’t understand how you could live your life in something that is torture and so restrictive. Sure, not for me.