Art-school dropout Dixon has played bass in a funk band, welded truck brake disks into furniture, crossed over to the heart of the Establishment (to work for the retailer Habitat) and seen his creations acquired by museums around the world. Dixon has even been recognized by Queen Elizabeth II for services to British design. Now Dixon, 47, is again the outsider moving in. But this time he's doing it in Finland. In 2004, Dixon merged his business with Artek, the firm founded in 1935 to distribute the work of the great Finnish architectand national treasureAlvar Aalto. "This was a company with no product development, and it had fallen behind the times," says Dixon. "I went in thinking, Right, I can do this. I should do that. But actually, I'm very happy to take a slower approach." It took three years to develop a range of bamboo furniture that Dixon felt lived up to Artek's tradition of sustainability, functionality and longevity. With luck, the Finns will agree.
Next Patricia Urquiola