At Salone: Slab Collection

After the human spectators leave the Salone for the evening, house music pumps through flashing strobe lights at the center of Zona Tortona. The paparazzi camera flashes and the peg-legged, cocky recline of the Slab chair and Slab bench are caught mid-boogie. Boasting reputations as the freshest faces of a stackable seating fever, they credit their designer Tom Dixon and the veteran Slab tables who started the journey three years ago.

Slab chair. Designed by Tom Dixon.

In 2005, Tom Dixon released the Slab dining table. A year later, in 2006, the Low Slab table joined the scene. This year, at the Milan Furniture Fair, the Slab bench and chair complete the star-studded, solid oak group. Available in natural oak or black-stained oak, the 2008 rookies limbo as interchangeable seating aside the rectangular dining table (measuring 75cm x 200cm x 90cm).

At Salone: Slab Collection

Slab bench. Designed by Tom Dixon.

At Salone: Slab Collection

Slab dining table. Designed by Tom Dixon.

Showing off smooth lines in the Slab ensemble, they exude the famous “no nonsense” gospel of Dixon. In the Feb 2008 issue of Metropolis, Nathan Silver writes:

The 48-year-old Dixon is tall and talkative, not at all like the brooding rebel I expected from the photos on his Web site. He's responsive and funny, with a propensity for unexpectedly tipping things out of balance, like the magically grown-up kid played by Tom Hanks in Big-especially in the scenes where Hanks has been put in charge of a toy company and applies his kid's point of view to make the company millions.

I found this observation very accurate based on an elevator ride I took with Dixon a year ago. We soared up a few floors, supplementing our momentary acquaintance with a chuckle launched from a dry, very British remark he made about the weather. We went about our ways. Weeks passed. Eventually, I realized who the relaxed, lanky Brit sporting the nice jumper and slim jeans is to the design community. At the time, I had no idea all that this Tom Dixon character stood for. Through my ignorance, I must admit- I had been pretty damn cool.

Having to earn the respect he deserves, the separate slabs of Dixon that I’ve come across have made the cut. The real question remains: Can the man dance?

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