Tom Dixon, the renowned British designer, collaborated with Pirelli designing the collection “Pirelli by Tom Dixon” , a limited and exclusive edition of three scooter tyres on which the artist has committed himself to realise innovative and original tread patterns.
These true masterpieces of rubber will be visible to the public on the occasion of the Salone del Mobile Milano (Milan Design Week) as part of the artist’s exhibition entitled “MULTIPLEX, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow Show” that will be set up inside the Galleria Manzoni (Via Manzoni, 42 – 20121 Milan) from 4 to 9 April 2017.
In the prestigious and exclusive location of the historic Milanese theatre, Tom Dixon will implement as part of its exposure a “Rubber Shop” where visitors can admire, as well as the motorcycle tyres designed for Pirelli, also an installation made with materials preserved in the Pirelli Foundation: a selections of tyres’ technical sketches, caricatural and ironic tyres’ stands inspired by an historical advertisement for Pirelli signed by Riccardo Manzi and, finally a giant reproduction of Meo Romeo the Cat, a toy designed by Bruno Munari.
The collaboration between Pirelli and Tom Dixon was born almost by accident during a visit in the summer of last year of the British designer to Pirelli Headquarters in Milan. Dixon visited the Pirelli HangarBicocca, the non-profit foundation, established in 2004, which has converted a former industrial plant in Milan into an institution for producing and promoting contemporary art. He also visited the Pirelli Foundation, in which are stored historical archived documents on the history and activity of the company from its establishment in 1872 to the current day and the Research and Development Center in which the designer focused in particular to observe the processes carried out in the area where grooves on the tyres are cut by hand.
During the visit, the artist was impressed and fascinated by the work seen on the tyres expressing his willingness to cooperate in some way working with Pirelli onto tyre rubber.
Considering the growing interest and attention from some motorcyclists regarding the tread pattern design of motorcycle and scooter tyres, which in some markets is becoming a key element in the choice of a tyre as much as the performance and quality offered by the tyre itself. Pirelli gave Tom Dixon free reign and the opportunity to give vent to his creativity in the customisation of some scooter tyre tread pattern designs.
This gave rise to the collection of tyres “Pirelli by Tom Dixon” that the designer describes as follows: “I’ve always been interested in design, in motorcycles and in rubber as a material- so it’s a real pleasure to be working with Pirelli whose history in these fields is well known -and whose numerous collaborations with artists and designers are legendary. It has been fascinating working with a company with such historical expertise to produce a series of new patterns within the complex series of technical parameters that exist in motorcycle tyre production”.