Finer details: Tom Dixon talks Multiplex as we celebrate Wallpaper's 200th issue
To celebrate our 200th issue, Wallpaper* hosted a typically superlative party at Tom Dixon's Multiplex, an alternative retail haven currently in residence at the Old Selfridges Hotel. Not wanting to hog all the attention ourselves, W* caught up with the British design titan to chat over the pop-up's finer details...
What is the raison d'être of Multiplex?
TD: I love London for it's amazing depth and breadth of creative activity but I'm always surprised at how insular the different sectors are – it's particularly evident in fashion/design/film/art which are the festivals that happen in mid-September to October. We wanted to do a retail explosion that covered that very exciting season – not our usual five day exhibition of prototypes that would be just talking again to the design cognoscenti.
Tell us a little bit about the inspiration behind the project.
It's one part Andy Warhol's Factory; one part adventure playground; one portion International Space Station; and a pinch of supermarket.
Has the Multiplex lived up to expectations? Has it changed from the original conception and what has made it such a success?
It's actually more successful as an evening disco/retail hybrid than a regular department store! I think the next step is to create a 24 hour nightclub shopping centre.
What five products are not to be missed at Multiplex?
I love Sort of Coal of Denmark. They are such a supernatural product – Japanese charcoal with all kinds of benefits, from water purification to wall paints that improve air quality.
Haeckels is fabulous – a completely natural series of scents distilled from seaweed in Margate. They put together a blow up structure so that people could breathe the calming air of the British seaside.
Teenage Engineering, with their fabulous Swedish synthesisers and speakers – all with extraordinary graphic interfaces – showing the way to a more user friendly digitalised future.
Obataimu from India and their vertically integrated fashion design, technological development and production facility in Mumbai – camping in London for the first time.
Cubitts from Covent Garden and their biometric measurements of the face, combined with the best of handmade London manufacturing.