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Both as a self-taught designer-maker in early 1980s London and as head of design at the Habitat retail chain and now Artek, the Finnish furniture manufacturer, TOM DIXON (1959-) has combined the creative with the commercial throughout his career.

Tom Dixon fell into design by accident when he found himself with “time on his hands while recovering from a motorcycle accident. As an art school drop-out with no technical training, he taught himself how to become a designer-maker in 1983 after discovering welding when trying to repair his motorbike.

Dixon’s D-I-Y approach to design matched the post-punk mood of the early 1980s. Having made his name – but little money – by making and selling limited editions of his welded furniture - chairs such as the S Chair and Pylon Chair - he tried his hand at retailing, by opening a shop, Space, to sell his products, then manufacturing through the company Eurolounge.

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