At Salone: Tom Dixon’s Screw Table

With Dutch, French, and Italian companies dominating design, we often neglect our English-speaking brethren across the pond. Luckily, this has not been the case for Tom Dixon, whose self-taught metal working caught the design world’s attention early on. Perhaps people view Dixon as a bit more exotic, having been born in Tunisia, but Dixon himself wants to pay homage to the United Kingdom: “The Tom Dixon brand is inspired by the unique heritage, the individualistic innovation and the robust, no nonsense engineering of these small islands.”

Screw Table. Designed by Tom Dixon.

At the 2009 Saloni Internazionale del Mobile (aka Milan Design Week), Dixon is showing a new line of furniture that plays with the idea of utility—in stark contrast to his last exhibition in Miami where his Flame Collection of large-scale iron pieces loomed large, proving fanciful enough to grace the fictional worlds of many a sci-fi novel. No, the new offerings stress usefulness, even as they maintain Dixon’s characteristic industrial bent. In particular, the Screw Table captivates the attention, based as it is on a familiar household object—one often found in kitchen drawers and laundry room cabinets, even in empty washing machines—and one, I might add, that you can never find when you actually need it. This gives the screw its mystery.


What gives the screw its spellbinding charm is actually its shape, defined as “a cylindrical rod incised with one or more helical or advancing spiral thread” (via Freedictionary). Notice the trio of beguiling adjectives: cylindrical, helical, spiral—so geomterical and scientific and mechanical. Tom Dixon’s Screw Table takes advantage of all of the screw’s inherent allure. The one thing that cannot be ignored with this building essential is its purpose—put something onto a screw and it will turn (on those cleverly incised threads). Screw Table does just that. Either table—the large 90 cm and the small 60 cm—rises and falls according to your desires, from a height of 55 cm to nearly 85. Made from one heavy cast iron tripod and a solid marble top, Screw Table moves as you spin its top. Undoubtedly, this is fun; spinning recalls the dizzying delights of childhood, as in the simple top and yo-yo, the teacup ride, and the Sit ‘N Spin.

Of course, Screw Table also looks great and is multi-functional. The smooth marble top is luxurious, but the real star of the show is the central giant screw with its seductive swirls and nimble notches and graceful grooves. Dixon’s new table emphasizes utility, but it goes far beyond that with its frolicsome take on the ubiquitary screw.

via Designboom

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