Tom Dixon’s consultancy has merged with Finnish furniture design house Artek to create Art & Technology, which will offer design and development services to external clients.
Dixon will become creative director of Art & Technology, but will retain his position in the same role at homeware retailer Habitat.
Financial backing for the venture comes from Swedish investment firm Proventus, the owner of Artek.
London-based Art & Technology plans to hire new designers and is looking to recruit a ‘senior creative’, according to chief executive David Begg.
‘The model for Art & Technology is slightly different to most pure design groups,’ says Begg. ‘They are doing almost purely design, whereas we will provide a range of services across management, development and sourcing.’
Tom Dixon and Artek will continue to exist as distinct brands, but will operate from beneath the Art & Technology umbrella company. ‘Under Art & Technology we will be able to bring in design styles [other than Dixon’s],’ says Begg.
It is understood that Dixon’s full-time commitment at Habitat will be reduced, as he shares his responsibilities between the retailer and Art & Technology.
Proventus specialises in investing in companies that are in need of reinvigoration. According to Proventus chief executive Daniel Sachs, the creation of Art & Technology provides the knowledge to offer design, product development, manufacturing and retail skills to revitalise clients’ companies.
‘For European industry, competing on [short-term] factors such as cost won’t work – superior products [are needed],’ says Sachs. This requires a sustained effort to improve innovation, he adds.
Neither Habitat nor Dixon were available for comment as Design Week went to press.