Tom Dixon, 47, Designer
What are you doing here at ICFF?
It’s time to take America seriously. It’s always been strangely remote for me, but it feels like a good moment now—maybe people are getting tired of Italian design and Martha Stewart.
Have you seen anything at ICFF that you’ve loved?
There’s a couple of neat ideas, but the rest of it I’ve seen in Milan.
Which designer do you think is the most overlooked?
I think it’s getting harder and harder to get overlooked. Now people don’t get a chance to develop an aesthetic before they’re picked up.
Who’s the most overrated?
There’s quite a few of them! But I’d rather not say.
What was your last personal design purchase?
My home is filled with broken prototypes, or things I picked up in my travels. I don’t buy anything—I barter.
Which daily object do you think is most in need of a redesign?
I think designers need to get away from redesigning daily objects. I like evolved objects; I’m more interested in how you design a process. I’m more interested in how you can not design. Though the mobile phone could use a redesign—make it less fiddly, with less features.
Tell us about your outfit!
This is a YSL Rive Gauche jacket —it was a barter. The tie is Richard James, a Comme des Garcons shirt, Paul Smith shoes, and the socks are from Marks and Spencer.
Do you think design save the world?
I’ve asked that question of people in my newspaper! You’ve got to start trying, right? And designers should be in a position to be early try-ers.
[From Dixon’s paper:
Ron Arad – “Absolutely not. Maybe the world can save design. But I’m not even sure about that.”
Murray Moss – “It better try.”]
What did you have for breakfast?
I went to a diner down the street and had all sorts of American bits and pieces. Pancakes and eggs and homefries, all covered in that repulsive American maple syrup that’s not maple syrup. And I had a chocolate milkshake. When in Rome…