At Salone: Tom Dixon’s ‘A bit of Rough’ Collection

What can I say, but I am a sucker for everything British. British humor, British sensibility, British men, and last but not least, Brit designer Tom Dixon!

A hot unfavorite at 3rings, we keep coming back to Dixon as his creations are charmingly modern and somewhat eccentric. If the Slab Collection warmed the cockles of my design infused heart then the ‘A bit of Rough’ Collection has me revere him further.

Tom Dixon booth at Salone 2008.

For Tom Dixon the Milan Furniture Fair was the perfect opportunity to get in touch with his British roots. Dixon's exhibit consisted of the old and the new, and while his Slab Furniture Line garnered a lot of critical acclaim, it was his ‘A bit of Rough’ that stole the show.

Making its debut at Salone 2008, ‘A bit of Rough’ comprises of lighting and furniture products that don't adhere to the customary monotonous clich©s. A tantalizing combination of honesty and expressive design, this collection also encapsulates an attitude of sincerity, one that is devoid of pretensions and self-importance and lays emphasis on candor. The colloquial expression ‘A bit of Rough' also indicates typical British characteristics like a no-nonsense stance and dare we say the famous stiff upper lip?

At Salone: Tom Dixon’s ‘A bit of Rough’ Collection

Mirror Ball (right). Blow light (left). Both designed by Tom Dixon.

The Mirror Ball may lean towards a slick high tech finishing, but its roots are very much British, according to Dixon. Seeking inspiration from lunar landing space helmets, the lamps are constructed from high impact resistant polycarbonate and come equipped with robust stainless steel stand features.

The Blow light on the other hand takes the eco-friendly route and, amid a tangled jungle of lights, stands out with its thought-provoking concept. Though designed to accommodate a low-energy compact fluorescent light bulb, its unique ergonomics also allow the light too moonlight (no pun intended) as a broad beamed spot lamp. It can be used on a stand as a pendant or a floor light too.

The collections may be termed as raw, however rest assured they are far from insipid. Both the Mirror Ball and Blow Light are a testimony to Dixon's immaculate workmanship and incredible aesthetics. The British heavy industrial techniques also have a profound influence on ‘A bit of Rough,’ which is quite fitting since I am told something called the Industrial Revolution also kick-started in the British Isles!

Like most Tom Dixon collections, ‘A bit of Rough’ isn't content to be just ornamental, and hence is also a seminal statement on what a British brand should represent.

Tom Dixon puts this point across perfectly:

Its not that I have anything against slickness or refinement, but for me, a British brand should stick out through it’s no nonsense approach, it’s honesty in surfaces and materials, innovation and a robustness that takes it beyond short term fashionability.

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