Along with launching new lighting pieces and revealing a Design Week installation, the designer announces an eight-city European tour.
By Rachel Gallaher
Designer Tom Dixon with the newly released Cone PRESS light.
After 18 months of traveling around the world via hologram, British designer Tom Dixon is ready to get back into action—live action, that is.
This week, during Milan Design Week and the Salone del Mobile furniture fair, Dixon announced that he would be returning to the road on an eight-city European tour to introduces his latest designs. Milan marked the kickoff and will be followed by London (for the London Design Festival), Paris, Berlin, Kortrikt, and Antwerp (all in October, then Olso and Copenhagen in November.
“The Grand Tour was historically the key part of the English Gentleman and Gentlewoman’s education,” Dixon says. “A visit to the great capitals of Europe to study classical civilization, to enjoy great works of art and architecture, to study languages, and to come home as a fully cultured person. Of course, for us, our Grand Tour will have some of these features, but the big idea is to get back on the road, to travel once more to the great design capitals of Europe, and show our partners, old friends, and new acquaintances some of the fresh ideas we have been cooking up for the past 18 months.”
The new MELT chandelier.
Two of these ideas, the MELT chandelier, and the PRESS light were introduced at a breakfast at the Manzoni, an experiential space in Milan created by Dixon’s Design Research Studio that includes a restaurant, showroom, and shop. Both lights are a play on form: the MELT chandelier is a large-scale addition to the already popular MELT collection, featuring the line’s amorphous, irregularly shaped glass orbs.
Items from the PRESS collection, including the two newly released pendant lights.
The PRESS light, best known for its candleholders, vases, and bowls made from very thick, transparent glass that gives them extreme heft. The two new pendants, named Sphere and Cone, are reminiscent of oversized glass fishing buoys with an Art Deco flair. The pendants are available in two simple, geometric shapes that blur the line between playfulness and sophistication.
Part of Tom Dixon's 'Black Light' installation at the Valextra boutique in Milan.
As part of Milan Design Week Dixon also revealed an installation in collaboration with its next-door neighbor, Valextra, the iconic Italian luxury leather goods brand. Inspired by the archives of Milanese design masters including Gio Ponti and Achille Castiglioni, Dixon worked with Austrian lighting specialist Prolicht to create Black Light, an installation of 10 circus-esque LED light forms that stand in dialogue with Valextra’s new Chiaroscuro handbag collection, which itself is inspired by the Italian art technique of juxtaposing light and shadow.