Design classics – Tom Dixon Mirror Ball
This month’s Design Classic is a more recent addition to the design scene than previous months. The Tom Dixon Mirror Ball was only launched in 2003 but due to its universal popularity it has rapidly become a Design Classic.
The designer Tom Dixon was born in Tunisia but grew up in London from the age of 4. He never formally studied design which he believes has allowed him to ‘experiment with no constrains and make my own mistakes’. In 1993 he taught himself to weld and started making furniture. His first major success was in 1994 when Cappellini put his S chair and Bird Lounger into production in 1994. He subsequently worked as Head of Design for Habitat and as Creative Director for Artek. He now runs the Design Research Studio based in Portobello Dock, in West London.
The Mirror Ball series was inspired by the helmets worn by the lunar astronauts. The light shade is virtually indestructible and constructed of polycarbonate. The interior of the fitting is coated with a very thin layer of chrome. This gives the exterior a mirrored finish and also focuses the beam of light downwards.
The light fitting is available as a pendant fitting, on a stainless steel stand, or as a floor standing globe. The original Mirror Ball is available in three different sizes 25cm, 40cm or 50cm – the mini 25cm looks really effective when grouped together. Following the success of the original chrome version of the fitting the range was expanded by the addition of the Copper Shade in 2005 and the Bronze Copper Shade in 2010.
The Mirror Ball series has been installed all over the world. If you are visiting the Tom Dixon shop at Portobello Dock you should pop into the Dock Kitchen to see the installation of light fittings there.
The ongoing popularity of the Mirror Ball and its highly adaptable use has helped to earn it a place in our Design classic series. It makes a great feature in any interior – my personal favourite is to see it grouped together to create a large installation. How would you use it?