The Dixonary entry for "cool"
Monday morning brought interesting news and an even more intriguing collaboration. In a significant pivot, British designer Tom Dixon and Fab's ex-design chief Bradford Shellhammer announced that they would be combining their talents—in the form of a rock band named Rough. Shellhammer is going to take the stage as the lead vocalist and Dixon will pick up the bass. (Lady designers looking for a musical outlet: They're currently seeking for a female within the design industry to fill the third spot on Rough's roster.) And, of course, they'll be debuting the trio at Milan Design Week.
Throw some leather jackets on them with a pair of ripped jeans and we're in business
While this might be a new industry for Shellhammer, Dixon is no stranger to the stage—he began his career playing bass guitar with Brit-funk band Funkapolitan (who toured with Rita and Ziggy Marley) and later on gave on-stage welding demos at various clubs. Check out this throwback to one of Funkapolitan's hits, "As the Time Goes By":
You can catch a glimpse of oh-so-early '80s Dixon just behind the groovy moves of the vocalists. We can only hope that this new group will bring back some of the funk that Dixon so clearly embodied, and we can't help but wonder if they'll be writing tunes based on their experience as designers. Maybe Shellhammer can put together a rock ballad about rising to the top of Design Within Reach's retail and corporate ladder, or Dixon could bring back his on-stage welding—they could spark their own genre: designercore? Formwave? Braze rock? CADpop? The possibilties boggle the mind.
In all seriousness, though, we're looking forward to seeing where this goes. Hopefully it'll last a little longer than its predecessor, Funkapolitan.