Tom Dixon b. 1959

"Good design should improve things. Design is never a single thing." It may be useful to know that before the British designer, Tom Dixon, became famous for his sophisticated modern lighting fixtures, he was something of a DIY expert. Dixon, an art school dropout and onetime band musician, began his product design life by welding together furniture made from found objects, like grates and hubcaps—experience that continues to inform his hands-on approach to the Tom Dixon furniture and lighting range. Armed with no formal design training and an insatiable curiosity about all aspects of the design chain—from concept to manufacturing—Dixon has become one of the premier contemporary designers of the world. "In my career, I’ve had intimate experience in making things with my own hands, getting really dirty doing it, and the more glamorous front-end of selling stuff, retail, or communicating it, building a reason to buy stuff." Dixon's most coveted 'stuff' is, undoubtedly, his range of glamorous metallic pendant lighting fixtures, realized in shining copper, burnished brass, and gleaming silver finishes, and notable for their technological innovation and global influences as much for their appealing good looks. The Tom Dixon Beat collection of spun and beaten brass lamps reference the cooking pots and water vessels ubiquitous on the Indian subcontinent, while the Etch lighting series features a process commonly used to produce circuit boards, in which intricate patterns are etched directly into metal sheets. “You should be trying to improve on something that has existed before," Dixon has said, "whether that’s a better functionality, a life-changing new invention, or even just a nicer color.”