Arkitektura Assembly:  Bringing together the world of Design

Design in Mind: Tom Dixon

Tom Dixon designs it all: furniture, objects, lighting, scents, interiors, restaurants, hotels and even music. Before starting his own brand, he was creative director of Habitat, a groundbreaking interiors company that changed the landscape of the domestic interior of Britain. Dixon never had a clear trajectory, he just followed his instincts, worked hard and had a lot of fun along the way. We spoke at his studio in London and he shared how he came to develop the brand Tom Dixon and the ways in which it is distinctive from the actual Tom Dixon.

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Below is a transcription of the Design In Mind interview with Tom Dixon. 



Tom Dixon
:
I was born in Tunisia, for a wide variety of reasons. My mum lived in Morocco for 12 years before she met my dad. She went after the war in France and I was brought up some of the time in Morocco.

Arkitektura:
I know you came to England early on, when you were quite young, but do you find that the fact that you have that [Moroccan] cultural influence in your life finds a place in your work?

Tom:
Yeah. I mean, you know, my father is English, my mother is French and I was born in North Africa. I think the more you travel, the more you’ve got different angles to look at things from, the more likely you are to be creative, for sure.

Arkitektura:
When you came to San Francisco, to Arkitektura, and gave your talk, it was interesting to hear how the bowls that you had come across in India had influenced you. Travel itself is just very inspiring.

Tom:
I am very lucky in terms of being a designer who knows where everything comes from. I have visited every factory where my things are made so I get chance to travel massively, you know, throughout Asia and Europe, and to see things being made. So, yeah, I mean for me it’s not just the travel, it is also the manufacturing processes that are very inspirational.

Arkitektura:
And why do you feel like it’s important for you to see where your things are made?

Tom:
Well, I think there is too much of a disconnect between consuming things and where they come from, but given that I am somebody who has always been interested in how things are made and have got a large amount of my ideas from craft or factory processes, it’s kind of essential for me to know what’s possible to make and I get that really through the factory visit.

Arkitektura:
We went to the Victoria and Albert Museum [in London] and there was an interesting little pop-up exhibition about objects and where they actually come from and there was a pair of trousers that came from that Bangladeshi building that fell down.

Tom:
Oh, yes, all right.

Arkitektura:
And it was interesting to think, ‘Well, do I consciously think about what I am buying and where it comes from and what that means and what that manufacturing process is connected to?’

Tom:
Yeah. I don’t think people are that engaged anymore in that but there’s change coming. You know, you see it a lot in restaurants more than anything where I think food is a bit of an avant-garde of how people think. So, more and more, you see people really wanting to know how their coffee is made or where their bread is coming from or even where the cow has come from and so I think that attitude to knowing more about the stuff that surrounds you or the stuff that you consume is going to become much more important.

Arkitektura:
Now did you grow up with design? You can say we all grow up with design and it’s inevitable, everything is designed, but did you grow up with a design sensibility as a child? When did you really start thinking or becoming aware that things are designed?

Tom:
No. I don’t think I did. I mean, my parents had a reasonable interest in the stuff that was around them but there was no design or art or production backdrop to my youth. Probably, when I think about it, maybe it was at school, which was an inner city, a big, rough school, but it was big enough to have a substantial art department actually. And in that art department was a pottery class and it was through the process of making pots and going from the earth to a product that I could see things being manufactured by own hands, that I started to learn a bit of how things were made and how you form them.

Arkitektura:
I was thinking about being ceramicist and a potter. [Recently] my sister-in-law, she is ceramicist, gave us a little class on throwing and I have done a lot of throwing actually in moments of transition in my life where things have been difficult and it’s been sort of a calming, Zen like metaphor: You kind of have to be centered and any movement you make changes the course of things. Do you think that’s true?

Tom:
Yeah, possibly (sounding skeptical). I mean, maybe. That wasn’t what drew me to it. I think I like the mud, the idea that there was this kind of primeval muck that you could turn into something precious and I think that kind of still what interests me today: The idea that you can have an idea and you can form stuff and that people will buy it. You know, I have never separated really the designing part from the manufacturing part from the selling part in the way that most other the people do. There’s something quite nice about being able to turn a raw material into something desirable and has a value to people and so I am still pretty much doing that now, although on a different scale.

Arkitektura:
Would you do still describe yourself as a maker, is there a part of you that still identifies in that way, as a maker?

Tom:
I never really described myself as that at all. I mean I think it’s a bit of an odd word. I do all kinds of different activities, some which involve making things, but it was probably more appropriate when I started off, when I actually had a metal shop and was making things with my own hands. I mean now I make things all over the world and through partner factories if you like. So I am much more distant from the process of making things, but what is quite interesting to know is through, particularly through digitalized technology and miniaturization of manufacturing technology, I think we are getting closer to being able to make things in our backyards again.

So, where I think for a lot of people the idea that they never, ever see a factory or have any connection with anything apart from mass produced goods in low cost economies, I think that’s changing rapidly and we’ll see a completely new industrial revolution happening, a personal industrial revolution, where people can get a bit more involved in the making of things themselves. And those don’t need to be low-tech pottery, they can be properly industrialized goods.

Arkitektura:
I think about that a lot with radio and media production. It’s so easy now with your iPhone. You can record something and you can load it onto Garage Band on your Mac and you can make something and create something but it’s not necessarily going to be good. You know, a lot of it is going to be pretty bad. (laughter)

Tom:
Yes. It can be bad, but I think there were things that were bad before the advent personal technology. I mean the more important part is that presumably not only can you make it, but you can also broadcast it in a way that was impossible before. I think half the equation is really the accessibility of the audience and, potentially, even people that might pay for that content directly to you rather than having to go through a big corporation. So, I think it’s exciting times for anybody creative. Obviously, and the problem is, you are suddenly competing with squillions of other creatives as well, but then eventually I guess the cream will rise to the top.

Arkitektura:
Or maybe not, most likely yes, but then where does that leave the role of the craftsperson? What’s their place in the world?

Tom:
Well, I think all of a sudden a craft person has got access to a massive audience. I mean you only have to see the success of websites like Etsy to know that people are now suddenly in a position to make things in their bedroom and address the whole world. It doesn’t need to be a big audience for people to be able to make a success out of cottage industry. So I think it’s a really exciting time. Obviously, I think the media focuses a lot on the giants out there, the Amazons and the Googles and that can become quite dominant, but there is room for the smaller person and there is access now, which was inconceivable even 10 years ago.

Arkitektura:
I have heard this term in a lot of different interviews that I researched about you, this “anti-fashion” term, and the importance of something having a certain [quality], that it can last and I wanted to know what do you think makes something have longevity, what does something have to have?

Tom:
I have as often said that I’m as fashionist as I am anti-fashionist. You know I flip-flop between the two. I like fashion for its speed and its newness, but I think particularly in the object that you have at home or the field that I am in, furniture and objects for living with, I think to justify my participation in creating more stuff which people don’t really need, I think the objective I am trying to accomplish is to try make things last a big longer. I think that it is inconceivable for things to only be used for one season in this sector and I am assuming that people that buy a table still want to buy a table for 25 years or 50 years and I think my biggest triumph is when stuff comes on to the secondary market and sometimes has a greater value than it did the first time around. So if I have managed to do that and things ends up in an auction house or even a junk shop and it’s more expensive than it was when I sold the first time around and it’s still looking good or possibly even better through tarnish or through use then I feel I have managed to do something that is quite difficult: Actually, to have some longevity in an object.

Arkitektura:
But is it something you can set out to do, you can set out to create something that has longevity? If you are to set out to do that, what are the components of that? What do you have to think through?

Tom:
Well, I think there is a materiality and a construction of the object where you need to pay attention to so that things are made with the certain long life in mind and so often people’s thinking of economy of materials or lightness or surfaces are just very thinned skinned. I am always trying to do things as simply as possible and use as much materials as possible and then I think you know from a shaping and sculpture point of view, you can reduce things to their essence and hope that they won’t go in and out of fashion too much. I mean it’s difficult because people want novelty the whole time and increasingly they seek newness. The press are the worst of the lot, I’m looking at you now (laughter). There is this kind of endless search for the new, the fresh and the different and so one of the hardest things is try to find things that don’t go out fashion very quickly right now. So I think there is a certain simplicity, there’s a certain integrity of materials and of shape and that’s often what I am trying to seek in the designs that I make.

Arkitektura:
I am always amazed at how, let’s say you move you into your new house and you put certain things in a place and you don’t think about it too much and those things stay in that place for years and years and years. There is a ceramic bowl I made when I was 12 or something that’s been in a certain part of our new house for eight years now, ever since we moved in. There are things that have longevity that you don’t expect will. Are there things that you’ve made that have longevity that you didn’t expect would? Things that you thought would go out of fashion? Something that maybe surprised you the most around that.

Tom:
Yeah. Well, I mean there are things around that I am starting to look again at and I’m thinking they weren’t so bad afterall. I am never very happy with what I just finished, it takes me long time to get around to thinking it was legitimate, I’m always keen on what I am doing next, but there is a chair that made it to the Museum of Modern Art’s collection which is made by Cappellini from 1992 or something like that and it still feels relatively fresh to me when I look at it, so I am quite happy with that.

Arkitektura:
You know I think that’s part of the being a really talented creative: to not actually be satisfied with what you have done. (Laughter) It seems to be a running thread.

Tom:
You could also be an untalented creative and be unsatisfied with what you did as well. It’s hard to tell, it’s only judged from the outside, that is. I can’t help you with that one (laughter).

Arkitektura:
So music: I want to talk a little bit about music. Do you still like music?

Tom:
Yeah. I am playing some music tonight here. We are lucky to be in a place which used to be a music studio. If you look around, you can still see the plugs and the inputs and outputs for a proper recording studio. This used to be Virgin Records actually. So I think music is a great thing where you get a chance to communicate without talking actually and so I am doing more and more of it right now.

Arkitektura:
So how do you think it comes into say these bowls, for instance. How do you think it plays into your work?

(Tom clinks on a bowl and it makes a loud noise.)

Tom:
There you go. Well, obviously, a bowl completely inspired by a cymbal.

Arkitektura:
It’s true!

Tom:
I don’t suppose it does particularly, from a shape of perspective. What it did always, in post rationalization when I thought about the music industry which is what I did when I guess I left the school, was we were in a very exciting time for music in London in the late ’70s, early ’80s and it taught me very quickly that you didn’t really need to be authorized to practice in a creative field. You know, you didn’t have to have a lot of learning. We taught ourselves our own instruments, made up our own tunes. We organized our own gigs and made our own posters and so that’s really kind of what I do now, just in a very different sector.

Arkitektura:
Do you listen to music while you design things? Is it an important part, to have music playing?

Tom:
No. In a way, I think it’s almost too available now, the way people just shut themselves off with headphones and have constant stream of music and I quite like music still surprising me, and being quite special and a bit more occasional than that. You know so, yeah I’ll punctuate the day with occasional tunes, but I don’t like to have a constant stream.

Arkitektura:
Contemporary tunes?

Tom:
Yeah contemporary and antique. I mean that’s the joy of the modern world is that you can plunder the archives and you can hear the latest. It’s much easier to find the latest stuff as well. I quite like pirate radio, which seems to have made a resurgence recently, because you know you always get surprised driving around London. Pirate radio in the car is my favorite, which could be gospel or it could be reggae. It could be country music, so I like surprises.

Arkitektura:
I agree. I had a radio show for a long time on a station called Resonance FM. It wasn’t exactly pirate but it’s certainly not mainstream and we could play all kinds of things and you just weren’t limited, which was very exciting. I love music. It just becomes the fabric of your soul almost, it’s just becomes part of you.

So, recently I was reading about Richard Serra and how he had really discovered…

Tom:
Steel. (laughter)

Arkitektura:
Yes, how he discovered steel, and [specifically] the ways he could use it, by making mistake in his studio and I think mistakes are just one of those things that are fascinating because they are not often mistakes and I wanted to ask you what are some mistakes you think you’ve made that weren’t mistakes, some of your best mistakes?

Tom:
I don’t think I ever really set out with a really clear plan or when I do, often the outcome is completely different to the initiation. I mean we are mainly surrounded by fortuitous mistakes here [in my shop] and some of the things around us are definitely mistakes. (Laughter) I think the joy of having a studio and having a space and mixing up a bit, which is what we do here: we have a restaurant, it is a music studio, we do a have a prototyping department, we are involved in things from perfume to tables and lighting, is that because we actively seek to have unexpected currencies happening. You can call it mistakes if you like, but I think you make your own mistakes and that’s the way you learn, right.

Arkitektura:
Unexpected currencies. That’s the way you learn if you can see the opportunity in a mistake. I think often you can miss that opportunity.

Tom:
Well, I think also often people feel uncomfortable, [they’re] just wanting to get things right or do things according to what they already know. I am always much more excited by being unknowing and naïve in a way. So you know I pile into these different categories of business, whether that’s restaurants or architecture, and I find that I’m usually at my best when I don’t know too much.

Arkitektura:
And you often hear people say, ‘well, it’s out of my depth, I am out of my depth or I don’t really know what I am doing,’ and that’s actually a negative thing, they say it as a negative thing, but you are saying it’s a positive?

Tom:
I am saying that there is a lot of merits to being very knowledgeable about a field or being an expert in your field but it’s never been my strong point, no, so I like to look at things if possible with child like like eyes and discover it for the first time and not have too many preconceptions and if you are lucky that can end up in a fresh attitude towards an object or a field.

Arkitektura:
I think a lot of people would like to be able to see the world in that way. I mean I have a two and half year old and I think, gosh what is it like to see everything fresh through her experience. It’s amazing. I see her joy and it’s completely inspiring but it’s very hard to actually, as an adult, get into that space. How do you find you are able to?

Tom:
Well, I kind of maneuvered myself into a profession where it is possible to explore completely new worlds of materiality, of manufacturing, of functionalities and that’s what design is about and you are constantly trying to explore slightly unknown landscapes.

Arkitektura:
When I said earlier that everything is designed, do you agree with that? Do you think everything is designed

Tom:
Well, I think design is such a big and floppy word now and it’s a bit hard to separate out what it really means and but it seems to be applied to almost everything from the creation of software to some types of engineering to fashion, styling and the rest of it. So, yeah, I guess everything human made has had a design put on it every moment.

Arkitektura:
So if you were to come up with the different word?

Tom:
Well, there is lots and lots of different words so what I mean is that design seems to be almost like an umbrella phrase for capturing lots and lots of different activities, some which are to do more with systems, some which are more to do with sculptures, some of which more to do with manufacturing expertise or branding or communication. So I think the design word, the D word, is a very imprecise description of many different activities but that’s why it’s so nice to be involved in it because I can have a different job every day as a designer actually.

Arkitektura:
Yeah I like tonight you’re going to design music?

Tom:
Well, I don’t know about that. (laughter)

Arkitektura:
You’re going to play music.

Tom:
I’m going to flesh out a few chords.

Arkitektura:
Are you going to have an audience?

Tom:
No. Not yet. No, we’re preparing for an audience. We’ve got a concert in Paris during Maison et Objet.

Arkitektura:
So are you a group of designers?

Tom:
No, no, there is the publisher of my book, there is a somebody who is actually in the music business and you know it’s just a collection of whoever we can pick up on the way.

Arkitektura:
Men?

Tom:
Not men, not all men. It’s mixed, there are women. (laughter)

Arkitektura:
So you brought up the word “brand” and I was looking at your brand, which I am sure you were thinking quite a lot about, your mark. So it begins with a period and it ends with a period. In America, a period is kind of like an ending. I am sure here it is too. So why did you do it that way? Why does Tom Dixon begin with an end?

Tom:
It doesn’t really. That’s the dot of the eye, it’s not a period, it’s just that I happen to have a relatively nicely balanced name in terms of what it looks like on a page and how pronounceable and how short and snappy it is and often, particularly in Asia, I get asked if I made up.

Arkitektura:
Yeah I was going to ask you, it really is yours, right?

(laughter)

Tom:
Yeah, it really is me. I mean I am Thomas Dixon so it has been shortened but it wasn’t shortened by me. That’s just happens, right? So I think it would be stupid not to use it as a label seeing as how it’s so snappy as a brand.

Arkitektura:
So the period at the end is not a period?

Tom:
No. If you look at it’s the dot of the eye, you know, so it’s just the dot of the eye, I have put the Tom on top of the Dixon so then the I comes before the T, if that makes any sense. (laughter)

Arkitektura:
Yeah. I get it. And how about the one of the end?

Tom:
The one at the end is just to make sure it’s not just a name, that it’s seen as a stamp. I kind of like the idea of a brand, almost like branding a cow or something that you can stamp into things, so it’s good to finish off properly.

Arkitektura:
It’s one of those things when you create a brand for yourself you have to ask yourself a lot of questions about who you are and what you are. Do you think it’s true? Did you go through that process?

Tom:
No. Not really. I mean I kind of I think I know who I am, the problem is when other people start telling you who you are and then you stop being yourself and you start being a label and certainly with 80 people here, quite often people tell me what’s not Tom Dixon and what is Tom Dixon. That’s quite disconcerting for sure. But you know, I think I have been lucky in working also as creative director for other brands as well so it’s quite nice to have this outer body experience where I can look at my constructs my label as a third person and try and think of what that Tom Dixon looks like as oppose to me as a person.

Arkitektura:
Well, there is a term called code switching which is about the various part of yourself that come out either when you speak a different language, I speak four languages and I know you speak I know at least two, and also the different parts of you that come out when you speak to a different person like how you speak to your friend, your band mate, your employee. So do you think that there are all these different Tom Dixons? When you say ‘I know who I am’, that’s a big statement.

Tom:
No. I mean I don’t mean I know who I am, I know what that label should look like when it becomes a product, so it’s a complicated one. The reality of it is that I am actually owned by a third-party anyway, so I don’t even own myself so I can look at myself in the slightly abstract and here I am talking really just about using this name as a kind of stamp of some type of quality or some qualities in objects and trying to look at it from an impersonal perspective which is often one of the difficult things to do if you are eponymous as a business.

Arkitektura:
Yeah. Now if I say who are you?

Tom:
Who? Me or that?

Arkitektura:
No, you.

Tom:
Oh. Me.

Arkitektura:
Yes. What’s the answer?

Tom:
I don’t really think of me the person as something like that. It would take a lot longer than your radio show to describe the little bits that make up the me, there’s quite a few of them.

Arkitektura:
‘I am ceramicist, I am a son.’

Tom:
I am not so much a ceramicist anymore.

Arkitektura:
Well, it’s part of you.

Tom:
Yeah. I guess. Yeah.

Arkitektura:
It’s in there.

Tom:
Yeah. It’s like riding a bicycle, I could still throw a pot I guess. I just haven’t had go for a while, that’s all.

Arkitektura:
I think that’s the crazy thing about life: You look at something you made and you don’t realize how much it connects to something you did like 25, 30 years ago.

Tom:
Yeah. I am trying to look forward, not back.

Arkitektura:
So it was interesting to read about all this different things you’ve done. What’s the secret? I mean, is it that you’ve been brave? Is it you’ve been naïve? You’ve jumped from ceramics to music to welding to making things to furniture to building a brand to writing a book, it’s a lot and I think a lot of people are scared to do that. Do you think it takes bravery, do you think it takes talent, curiosity?

Tom:
No, I think it’s been a combination of many accidental, literal accidents, motorbike crashes and things, that have changed my career path, and also boredom. You know I get bored very easily and so I am always nosing about, investigating other things and I have been very fortunate that actually my hobbies have turned into careers and the more I look on them, well, even when I think of my heroes, they have often been more like educated amateurs anyway. You know, people who are just following a passion or an interest and are making a career or a life out them.

Arkitektura:
There are a lot of people that move from one thing to another and end up being drifters, whereas you look at your life and it’s like a series of successes.

Tom:
Well maybe I am successful drifter (laughter). You make some of your own luck and then some of it really is luck, so right place at the right time, and you know having the tools to make something out of that. I have had a fortunate series of events and then I have worked reasonably hard to make them into something, so I don’t know, it’s never as tidy as people would like to believe. What I do know is that I have never had a very clear plan, so that’s been astonishing, I have always had a pleasant surprises even the ones that seem to be disastrous, like breaking an arm when I was going on tour and not being able to be a musician anymore, turned out to be okay in the end, so I think you need to also try to turn trials into successes.

Arkitektura:
Your parents, were they ever disconcerted by the fact that you didn’t have a clear plan and have they been pleasantly surprised and just really proud of your success?

Tom:
Well, I think they’ll be surprised. Yeah, I mean I was relatively lazy I guess and I got into quite a few scrapes, so I think they would be pleasantly surprised. Yeah. I mean they are notably unpushy parents in a way which isn’t very fashionable right now, you know, so I am very grateful that they allowed me to drift. I mean in a way the thing I resent more is the unpushiness of my school. I was in a very insubstantial period in British educational history, which was more experiments in letting people run free really and having daughters myself I know, it would have been nice to have actually learned something at school. I did most of my learning at home, just reading actually.

Arkitektura:
How is their education, your daughter’s education? Do you think it’s what you would want for them?

Tom:
I think every child needs a different thing. That’s got to be the difficulty for most educationist or governments, one size just does not fit all. It’s quite clear to me now.

Arkitektura:
That is very challenging. Now have your parents come to the showroom and seen all of these things?

Tom:
Yeah. They have been to Milan to see the new releases. They are interested.

Arkitektura:
That’s great. As a parent you think about that a lot. I’d be so proud. Just imagine coming in here and seeing my daughter created all this. So you’ve done all these things: Is there something missing, is there something that you still want to be doing?

Tom:
It feels like I have just started. I mean in a way this business is only 10 years old, you know. Before that I was working with Habitat so that was 10 years actually not designing but doing more creative direction, doing communication, so I feel full of newfound energy and also the difficulty with this business is it’s taken quite a while in terms of getting enough manufacturers interested, enough distribution, shops or showrooms that are prepared to sell it and it feels like we are only just reaching a stage now where things are becoming much more possible rather than actually quite hard work. So I am looking forward to getting stuck into lots and lots more different categories and lots more different types of interior design and even more, now, potentially architecture so not just the insides of the buildings but also the outside of them as well. And I haven’t even started on electronics and transport and motorway tunnels or whatever else there is to design. Civil engineering that’s what I want to do.

Arkitektura:
Yeah. I was actually going to say do you want to be a biologist or something?

Tom:
Yeah!

Arkitektura:
In those low points where things weren’t getting into places?

Tom:
Because I have always enjoyed the jobs, I always liked working, it never seemed that dark frankly and because I get lot of pleasure from quite small activities, personal activities like making things. I can’t even remember that many dark spots.

Arkitektura:
You’re doing a hotel here in London. Can you tell me a little bit about it?

Tom:
Well, it’s like a lot of these things. Doing the first one or getting the first job to do a hotel is difficult thing. You know such a big commitment from the investors or the brand to allow somebody into their business so doing a first hotel is probably the difficult thing. So we have been very fortunate to work with Morgans Hotel Group on their first Mondrian hotel in London and it’s been quite fascinating learning a whole other trade. A hotel isn’t just a room and a lobby. It has got the spas and the conference rooms and the corridors and a rooftop bar and all of these things are interconnected and so it’s been fascinating also working closely with an American brand accessing the British market. It has got an amazing location on the River Thames, which is quite historical as well, and so I mean in a way it’s been a whole new universe opened up to us which is learning about completely new trade. So I have learned as much as I can and I am now, yeah, officially hotel designer as well, right?

Arkitektura:
Does every bit of that have to be designed by you?

Tom:
Well, me and my team and this is too much for a person and of course like any brand you also have to work within their aesthetic and their turn of voices as well, so it’s not uniquely me but I think you know what we’ve done is try and find a way of making sense of an American hotel in London and why that would be interesting. I think we managed to retain a sense of geography which I think is quite important in terms of travel and in terms of where you stay and you know London is an exciting place right now which is full of possibilities and very international and this is the first hotel really of that scale on the American model so it’s kind of nice to see if it work and I tell you in a month.

Arkitektura:
Alright. There are a couple more questions: I think I saw your lights in the Stockholm airport?

Tom:
Yeah. It’s possible.

Arkitektura:
And Etsy. And then they’re in high-end stores like Arkitektura. So it’s interesting that they can live in all these different spaces and places.

Tom:
Yeah, Stockholm airport isn’t that down market, is it?

Arkitektura:
No, I mean it’s accessible by lot of people whereas Arkitektura or other high-end markets are less so.

Tom:
Design has become a lot more universal in so many ways and there’s also phenomenon which is high-end brands are often ubiquitous in certain categories as well. I think there is a bigger accessibility and more and more labels are global and can be seen in different contexts. I hope the ones you saw in Stockholm airport weren’t fakes for instance, you know.

Arkitektura:
No. And they looked beautiful and I thought it was amazing that they had it there and it was only a stopover, I wasn’t going into Stockholm, so it made me want to go into Stockholm. I thought it was brilliant that they did that. There is a commitment to beauty that I admired.

Tom:
Well, I think what I found with my objects is that when one or two succeed, they tend to be neutral enough to be used many different contexts you know so I would say that was a success and that lamp seems to work in both contexts. So the interesting thing I found is, also from the stylistic point of view, when the objects I make are widely used, they have an ability to be slightly chameleon like and also people pick up on different qualities that they might have. So somebody might say, well, that’s very 1960s and somebody also might say that’s very futuristic and somebody else might say that’s super minimal on the same object and that’s when I have got a successful product.

Arkitektura:
Yeah it’s true. So you are married. You have two daughters. What would you want them to learn from you?

Tom:
Well, you know, that you don’t lose anything from having a go, from trying stuff out and yeah, I think open to the wonders of the world, I hope.