An art school drop-out with no technical training, Tom Dixon (born 1959) launched himself as a self-taught designer-maker after learning how to weld in order to mend a motorbike.
Now recognised as one of Britain's foremost designers, he first made his name in the 1980s selling welded furniture he had designed and made at Space, a shop he founded to showcase his work and that of other young designers. By the late 80s he was designing products - such as the signature S chair - for brands such as Capellini and in the early 90s he founded the company Eurolounge to manufacture his own products. Jack, the moulded plastic light styled a "sitting, stacking, lighting thing" established him as a household name in the 1990s and was one of that decade's iconic design objects.
Dixon was appointed head of design at Habitat in 1998 and served as the brand's Creative Director for two decades, rejuvenating the highstreet retailer by reissuing archive designs by Robin Day, Verner Panton and Ettore Sottsass and commissioning new products from his peers, including Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec and Mark Newson.
In 2002 he established his own brand, Tom Dixon, which produces an extensive and distinctive range of furniture, lighting and accessories sold in over 60 countries worldwide. He has also launched Design Research Studio, an interiors and architectural design studio. Of his own work, Dixon says: "a kind friend once described me as a ‘vertebrate designer. That means that I design from the bones outwards and am not really interested in surface."
Dixon was awarded an OBE for services to British Design in 2001. His work is included in the permanent collections of the V&A, MOMA and the Pompidou Centre.