What is "Design Research Studio Tom Dixon" about?
Tom Dixon designs and manufacturers lighting, accessories and furniture. Tom Dixon is a widely celebrated global force in interior design with our own hubs in New York, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Tokyo and soon Milan. Our 600 products range from lighting to furniture, from tableware to fragrance and are distributed in over 65 countries. They are instantly recognisable for their sculptural qualities and engineered materiality.
How long have you been in Sweden now and how did you end up in Sweden in the first place?
I moved from London to Stockholm because of my partner, without job in March 2011, studied some Swedish and started working in January 2012.
What are the biggest challenges for you, as being a Dutch entrepreneur in Sweden?
I lived in a few countries before, which made moving to Sweden feel like a natural next step. It sounds contradicting perhaps, on the one hand I wanted to settle and on the other I wanted to start all over with finding a job. Learning a new language after the age of 30 was the biggest challenge.
How is it to work in a design loving country and to promote the work of a foreign designer studio?’
It is nice to work for a foreign company in Scandinavia, Tom Dixon is a company with radical and industrial designs, they stand out from the crowd.
Can you tell us a bit about how it is to exhibit at Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair (SFF)?
For Tom Dixon, the Scandinavian market is one of the larger ones in Europe. This goes for both retail as well as the contract market (office, hospitality markets). Scandinavians are design focused and spend more money on interiors than many other European countries.
I believe there are two explanations for this. Firstly, it is dark during five months a year. Wherever you go in Sweden, candles are lit all day long. The cosy factor is important, (artificial) light plays a large role in the wellbeing of people.
Secondly, the larger part of social invitations takes place at people’s homes. Dinner parties are often given at home, eating out is less common than in southern European countries. I am sure you recognise this. People dress up, exclusive glassware is put on the table, and extreme care is taken of the right colour coordination and furniture choices.
Exhibiting at SFF was a must for us, the fair has shown an increase in international visitors over the past 5 years due to the Scandinavian design trends with brands like Hay and Gubi.
We decided to go all-in again after a two years of absence and do a brutalist booth in black and white to make it very clear we are not a Scandi-brand. The strategy of our design team proved to be successful, architects and customers loved the minimalistic approach. Further, we invested in a 2-window display at NK, an event in Arket’s showroom and a VIP dinner in the Residence of the Ambassador of the UK to proof that we are committed to the Scandinavian market.
How did you get in touch with the Dutch Chamber?
This makes for a good story. My wife won a car on the Arlanda Airport and was invited to the Sheraton hotel to collect the prize. She met Roel Huinink (re-located now) and brought me in contact with the Chamber, I attended an event and decided this was really good.
Which past event has given you the best memories?
Annual dinners are a true highlight each year! The quality of speakers on events is beyond what you can think for a club of our size. I mean getting the CEO of Handelsbanken to invite the Chamber for Lunch is great work or having the CEO of Vattenfall doing a presentation for the Chamber. "Chapeau" or "petje af"