Dezeen Magazine

Tokyo Designers Week interview: Tom Dixon

Tokyo 09: the next in our series of short interviews about green design for the Tokyo Designers Week guide features designer Tom Dixon, who wonders if we should make anything at else at all.

Tom Dixon - My stance is to continually experiment

“The word ‘green’ means a really tough challenge to anyone who’s involved in the encouragement of consumption, which is effectively what a designer’s job is. We’re faced with a constant dilemma: should we be making anything at all?

My stance is to continually experiment and encourage discussion. I’ve looked at things such as maintenance contracts rather than constantly selling ‘newness’. My latest green project in association with the Design Museum has been to convert my 1949 Bentley to run on electricity. But every time you do something you realise there are other factors that aren’t as eco-friendly as you’d hoped, like disposable batteries. It’s very difficult not to be hypocritical and part of the green-wash factor.

Right now, I’ve opened my first permanent showroom in Portobello Dock in west London. It used to be the Virgin recording studios and I’m now trying to create some furniture hits.

I’d love to live in Tokyo one day. The more I get to know it, the more engaged and hypnotised I am. The Japanese have developed a unique aesthetic, and I find the way they deal with space and objects fascinating. It's very different to what I could do.

My most memorable night in the city was spent in a transvestite karaoke club. Nigel Coates tricked me into going and I ended up dressed as Marilyn Monroe.”

Tom Dixon runs a large design studio in London.

Photography by Phil Fisk
Art direction by Micha Weidmann
Interview by Malaika Byng

This interview is taken from the official Tokyo Designers Week guide, produced by Dezeen and art directed by Micha Weidmann.

More interviews in this series:

Arik Levy
Ilse Crawford
Matthew Hilton
Shigeru Ban

See all our stories about Tokyo Designers Week in our special category.