Exclusive: Tom Dixon Talks Milan Design Week, His Latest Innovations and the YLighting Exclusive SPRING Pendant in Brass
The name Tom Dixon has become synonymous with modern, cutting-edge lighting design. You might not always know what you’re looking at on first glance, but you know it’s a Tom Dixon. His latest innovation—freshly unveiled at Milan Design Week last month—is dubbed SPRING.
And it is our honor to introduce the Tom Dixon SPRING Pendant in Brass, available exclusively through YLighting.
Naturally, with SPRING, there’s more than meets the eye. The pendant fixture is constructed of thin, pliant steel ribbons that are arranged whisk-like around an LED light and can be adjusted from spherical, to saucer-esque, to something in-between that Dixon described as “akin to a pumpkin.” SPRING comes in white and, exclusively to YLighting: brass.
But that’s not all Dixon unveiled in Milan. In addition to his new lighting innovations, Dixon previewed his latest work: The Manzoni, a full-on restaurant, bar and cafe that will become a permanent fixture in the Milan dining scene. So, to mark our exclusive Tom Dixon SPRING Pendant in Brass, we caught up with the design icon to talk design, inspiration and cocktails.
YL: So, what was the inspiration behind your 2019 lighting collection?
TD: Our theme for 2019’s newest innovations is Monochrome. By using our austere palette of black and white, whilst everyone around us goes crazy over a multicoloured rainbow of surface colouration, we hope to stand out by drawing attention to the extreme simplicity of this season’s forms, creating monochrome archetypes for the near future.
The theme of Monochrome is carried through into our latest lighting series OPAL, where the most satisfying of pure shapes; the sphere, is manufactured with a precision thin wall. Working with our German engineering partners, we have designed our own recipe of opalescent polycarbonate, resulting in a satisfyingly ethereal orb. We decided to remove the usual dangling lightbulb and replace it with our latest LED ring, making an extremely powerful illuminating device. OPAL can be suspended from the ceiling in pendant form, fixed onto a carbon fibre pole as a floor lamp and cantilevered from a massive conical floor base to make a sculptural overreach lamp. The archetypical silhouette of OPAL allows for use in the most minimal of settings. The light’s strong constitution of shatter proof polymer makes it indestructible in contract use and the soft glow makes it desirable in domestic decoration.
What can you tell us about our exclusive brass SPRING Pendant? How did it come about?
SPRING is a series of three pendant lamps made up of stainless-steel strips. Pliant ribbons of stainless steel have been arranged like a whisk around our custom-made Tom Dixon LED. The semi-transparent shape thus created can be adjusted to a variety of silhouettes—from a flat arrangement reminiscent of a spirograph drawing, to a flying saucer configuration and on to a fuller shape akin to a pumpkin. The shades are made from multiple bands of high-performance spring steel plated in an attractive white or brass finish. This engineering material has memory and dictates the form of the final shade. The nature of the spiral design allows the voluminous shades to be easily flat-packed for transportation.
What was your favorite part of designing The Manzoni Milano?
In the crazed-design circus that Salone has become, it felt really good to be standing still and to take the time to entertain our best customers, partners and friends in a more perennial setting. The opening of The Manzoni as a permanent restaurant, shop and showroom reflects our new ambition of investing in Europe, in Italy and especially in Milan for the long-term, rather than just creating fleeting Instagram moments.
What is your go-to cocktail order at Bar Manzoni?
We’re fine tuning the menu for The Manzoni so this is still to be decided!
Team Y is a dedicated group of design devotees. We love everything that has to do with modern design, from products like lighting, furniture and decor all the way to interior design, architecture and city planning. What inspired the design? How does it work? What does it mean? We want to know. And once we know, we are constantly inspired to share what we've discovered with others who love design as well. That's Y.