Surface behemoths Caesarstone annually celebrate their wares by inviting a designer to test the functionality of quartz in new and inventive ways. This year, Tom Dixon has stepped up to the challenge, following previous ventures with practitioners and studios including Philippe Malouin and Nendo. Bridging the gap between science and design, Dixon plays on Caesarstone's calling as a ‘surface’ brand to form an elemental kitchen collection, which saw its debut at Interior Design Show Toronto last week.

For the first of four kitchen concepts for the international quartz company, Dixon drew on the idiosyncratic – but geographically topical – inspiration of Canadian ice fishing. Titled Ice, the abstract design embraces the theatrical aspect of kitchens, with a conspicuous brutalist pretense. Factoring sharp, geometrical edges, the pieces bring a rugged feel to home cooking. The slick-surfaced worktops are matched with stools in bleak shades ranging from Vanilla Noir to Statuario Nuvo. The quartz is coupled with aluminum panelling and Dixon’s appropriately named 'Melt' lighting, creating a coldly industrial setting.

'[Ice] draws on the analogy of the kitchen as an alchemist's laboratory,' Dixon explains, 'where raw materials are transformed into treasure through the elemental process of freezing, melting, shaving and cooking with ice.'

The temperature is set to rise for Dixon's next project. In April, the designer will return to Europe to present an Italian Earth kitchen, set to go on show during Salone del Mobile in Milan (Air and Fire will follow).