February 8, 2009

Flame By Tom Dixon, Heavy Machine For Sitting Baby


This is how Kenny Schacter described Tom Dixon's Flame Cut Series of steel furniture when he showed it at Design Basel Miami last December:

An installation of unfeasibly heavyweight furniture where Dixon challenges our ideas of acceptable materials, processes and notions of fitness for purpose. Little concession has been made to practicality or functionality, apart from the ironic reference to flat-pack furniture.
Indeed, the baby head-sized heart-with-spike cutout in Dixon's Flame Cradle makes little concession to non-lethality, either.


The high chair, on the other hand, looks like it could function just fine, as long as you decide where you want it and don't try to move it later. Flame-cut steel is a material and technique usually reserved for making safes and tanks, but Dixon achieves a relative delicacy in the design that reminds me of Vienna architect Josef Hoffmann's Wiener Werkstatte classic, the 1905 Machine for Sitting [below, from MoMA].


Dixon created the first pieces of Flame for an installation last summer at Sudeley Castle in the Cotswolds. The thousand-year-old castle has been a scenic destination since King George III's day. They began staging contemporary arts exhibitions a few years ago, and they also won Wedding Venue of The Year in the 2008 Wedding Retailers Awards.

Flame Cut Series pieces are available in editions of 8-12 [both kid-related designs are in ed. 8], price on request. I'm sure there are still a few available.

See more of Tom Dixon's Flame Cut Series at Dezeen [dezeen, thanks dt reader ralph]

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