Tom Dixon collaborates with Audi in Miami

November 16, 2009

British designer Tom Dixon collaborates with pioneering automotive brand Audi for the launch of the new A8 model. As part of Design Miami/ 2009, Tom Dixon through Design Research Studio, presents "Light Light" - an installation of over one hundred specially designed aluminium polyhedral lights and helium balloons spanning 130 square metres of the Audi arena. The team were briefed to celebrate and make tangible a series of key attributes of the Audi A8, normally concealed behind the gleaming bodywork .

Key features that Tom Dixon focused on were lightness and luminosity, craftsmanship and precision; the lightness of the aluminium Audi Space Frame, the luminosity of the LED headlights and the handwork and skill of the manufacturer, be it a leather craftsman or a robotic welding arm.

Made from aluminium, Tom was drawn to the material of the Audi Space Frame and the beauty of its engineering, specifically its incredible light-weightness and strength. To illustrate these qualities and benefits that enhance the new Audi A8, Tom used aluminium to create the lights in the installation. Each lamp has a total of 60 faces cut with extreme precision and detail. The technological innovation of using LED lights for the front and rear of the Audi A8 prompted the luminosity theme of the installation. Each aluminium light is fitted with 12 OSRAM super bright LED bulbs positioned on the inside of the aluminium frame. These tiny bulbs project complex and far reaching shadows, conveying the luminosity of the innovative Audi A8 headlights and emphasize the mathematical precision of the geometric form.

Aluminum metallized foil is used in conjunction with helium in an extreme demonstration of lightness, where a number of the individual polyhedral lights are suspended by helium filled balloons filling the ceiling space with an expansive cluster of light. Dramatically shaped, as if to capture the moment a child’s balloon escapes into the atmosphere, the larger helium structures surround the stage, whilst others majestically float above it.

The live element of the installation will include the designers and technicians assembling creating and experimenting with new shapes to demonstrate the craftsmanship, technical development and the design passion involved in the making of the Audi A8. These qualities are often hidden in the communication of new car launches, often due to the number of "performance" characteristics that frequently overshadow more subtle features of these luxury vehicles.

The factory installation displays pieces from the new Tom Dixon collection as well as some custom made product in the brand’s signature Fluoro orange. The partnering of strong, honest materials used innovatively for long lasting function will highlight the synergy of Tom Dixon and Audi who are united by their commitment to making extraordinary objects for everyday use.

Design Miami/2009

Iinterview with Tom Dixon by Aaron Britt, dwell 2 December 2009

Tom Dixon, homepage