For the Salone del Mobile 2017, Tom Dixon brought Multiplex into the iconic Cinema and Galleria on via Manzoni, in the very heart of Milan.
Against the backdrop of 50’s Italian glamour, the event combined culture, entertainment and commerce ( the staples of Milan ) Design Week.
However the Salone is done for another year.
If you weren’t able to make it this year you can experience Multiplex online with the 360 tour of the Tom Dixon Multiplex cinema complex.
” Milan in April turns into the Glastonbury of Design – a huge explosion of ideas, colours, shapes and functions, a massive influx of design obsessives all seeking the latest ideas.
This year we have acknowledged the need for a place to stop, to refuel, to catch up on the newest concepts and latest designs and share the full excitement of our latest products.
We’ve chosen this iconic 1950’s Galleria and Cinema so that we can fully embrace the delicate balance of commerce, culture and entertainment that makes Milan the best Design Festival of the year. “ ………. Tom Dixon
Tom Dixon once again was one of the key protagonists at Milan Design Week with his show at the historic Teatro Manzoni & Gallery ( via Manzoni ) in the heart of the city.
He brought the concept of Multiplex to Milan, staging the world of Tom Dixon with several partners and new collaborations, between exhibition space and entertainment.
Tom Dixon and Milan, have a long standing relationship together as well as mutual affection in a growing success – so much so that this year Tom was awarded with the Milan Design Award recognition for ” Lifetime Achievement Award” …. for contributions to the history of Fuorisalone.”
These highlights include amongst many notable showings during the Salone – his Restaurant at the Besana Rotunda (2016 ), his showing at the Museum of Science and Technology with on-site prototyping ( 2012 & 2013 ), The Cinema with His band’s concert ( 2015 ) etc etc
Tom has always created unrivaled strengths and lures, knowingly mixing previews and business, entertainment and business, workmen and the general public.
Tom Dixon Multiplex (at via Manzoni)
The first stop in the Multiplex Galleria is the Antique shop.
Working with Giustini Stagetti, Tom selected pieces from the 1930s onwards and included his own Veterans: Bird, Pylon and S Chair.
Tom also showed the original Jack prototype, an aluminium dodecahedron, which sat on a bed of blue moss from Freud moss manufacturers.
At the front of the Galleria we’re showcasing our latest adventures in optics & reflectivity.
In the Year of Euroluce we are celebrating luminosity with a series of pendants which are another leap forward in our deep investigation of futuristic optics.
After years of shiny metallics Tom has finally gone a little bit soft.
Housed inside the Haberdashery were the new Super-Textures, Tom’s first foray into weaving, sewing and embellishing where we were able to look at extreme textures of velvets, boucles and knits.
In the Perfumery shop at Multiplex you could browse and buy Tom Dixon’s latest scent collections.
Working with La Rinascente Tom created a steamy space full of fragrance and flavour with a black moss backdrop by Freud Moss.
Gelato was served daily by Carpigian made with Tom’s edible Eclectic range created with Antonella Bondi served in limited edition 1882LTD ceramic cone
Curated by tyre giant Pirelli and Italian motorcycle manufacturer Moto Guzzi – showcasing for the first time a Tom Dixon x Moto Guzzi bike and limited-edition tyres designed by Tom.
Arabeschi di Latte and Fernando Laposse, wearing uniforms by Bill Amberg helped make a limited edition black chewing gum.
The ingredients stored in ceramics by 1882 ltd.
To catch the oily drips Tom laid smokey carpets by Ege and he illuminated the space with Tube lights.
Interview with Tom Dixon
by Caterina Lunghi
5th April 2017
You are a veteran and a champion of Milan Design Week! Let’s go chronologically. A leap back: your first experience: when, what and how?
In 1990, I presented with Cappellini the S-Chair. We were at 10 Corso Como, it was a three show: myself, Marc Newson and Kris Ruhs.
At the time Carla Sozzani had just finished by Romeo Gigli and was starting 10 Corso Como.
For all of us it was the first time in Milan with the occasion of the Salone del Mobile – and for me also the very first contact with the Italian industry.
What does Milan and the Mobile Show mean for you and your career? And the city itself, with its design history?
A revelation, I would say a new beginning.
It is the city where I have learned the value of design for the industry and where I first met artisans and entrepreneurs sincerely enthusiastic and committed to improving the product.
This Design Week has established your headquarters in the heart of the city, you’ve taken all the Manzoni Gallery in via Manzoni, with its abandoned showcases and also the cinema, which has been in disuse for years, in collaboration with several partners, Ikea to present the design of the Delaktig sofa (pictured above). An almost unparalleled event for majesty, ambition and commitment. How did it go?
Greatly! 22,000 visitors, all satisfied partners, from Ikea to Sonos, from Ragamuf to Pirell. More sales orders than ever.
I have an almost collapsed, exhausted but very happy team!
Is Milan still the most important week for the industry and the market, or do you see new cities and appointments emerge?
No, there is no comparison!
For the volume of visitors and the variety of meetings and opportunities – job insiders, buyers, shops, journalists, opinion leaders – the week in Milan, with the fair and the Fuorisalone, has no equal.
The first time was 1990: 27 years for you Milan Design Week, becoming the protagonist of Fuorisalone, the destination of each itinerary and the week. And this year also the Career Award, the Lifetime Achievement Award for designing the story of Fuorisalone as a designer. Your first thought when did you receive it?
Hey, I wanted that as emerging talent, young promise … so I was depressed!
Some anecdote or special remembrance still tied to Milan?
The first time in 1990: I slept on a bench, I still remember the cold!
Yes, just one night, in the park behind the Sforza Castle. I did not have enough money for a hotel
We come to the new collections and proposals you’ve just presented at Multiplex: collaboration with Ikea, lighting, but also re-edition of your first pieces and seats from S-Chair to Pylon …
Yes, they represent my beginnings, my story.
The S-Chair, in a different model, is also in production with Cappellini, but I wanted to replenish it.
It’s like a movie prequel, like Star Wars!
Collections that also expand in new types of families. For the first time, you explore a more ‘soft’ field: cushions and blankets, bouclé, velvet and wool …
Yes, it’s really just the beginning of an ever-softer adventure that will give us more and more color, comfort and texture.
Your creative process, proposals and features …
Ehh, it’s more than the theory of chaos.
I look at all things in a fairly disorganized way, but at one point a thread, a motif emerges.
You always have a handle on market situation, people’s attitudes, their way of living and living. A designer as an anthropologist and sociologist?
I would say I am more of an explorer ………
Classic question then. The baby dream: what did you want to become?
Fireman! I liked the big red trucks with sirens. I was only five years old!
Personal and / or professional heroes?
Yup! Jimmy Hendrix, because he was a total individualist. Nicola Testa, a great inventor. Then Buckminster Fuller, and Noguchi.
As a bassist in London in the ’70s, Tom Dixon’s designer-entrepreneur and a unique business model in the panorama, the Dock Kitchen restaurant in London, and collections and ideas that are getting bigger and more loud. Beat time on the market and you never seem to miss a shot. What is the key to this success?
In fact, many errors and failures, but always the enthusiasm and the desire to see and do things from a different perspective.
I never felt the need to be like someone else.
What do we have to wait in the future?
At least anticipation?
I can announce the opening of a store in Hong Kong at the end of May and the Publicis Drugstore restaurant in Paris …
After Milan, the next international design and decoration event: at the end of May in New York, ICFF. Will you be present?
Yes, we will be in New York but this year we will not exhibit at ICFF. Since last summer we have our own store in Howard Street and we will organize a party block there. And we’ve just brought, with a pop-up, our collections from Barneys.
Small and large scale, from candles, hand lotions and even a chic detergent for dishes, to restaurants and residences from London to Australia. The charm of any project for you?
A new adventure.
I’m always at my best when I am an amateur and I’m facing the not yet expert project.