Tom Dixon was born in Tunisia in 1959. He moved to Great Britain at the age of 4. As a self-taught designer, he initially specialised in welded salvage furniture. He has been head of design for the Habitat chain of furniture stores (1997), and of the Finnish furniture manufacturer Artek. His artistic career began when he discovered pleasure in welding while repairing damaged motorcycle frames. Dixon first became known as a designer when his S-Chair was manufactured by Cappellini. He holds an Honorary Doctorate from Birmingham City University (2004), and was awarded an OBE for services to British Design in 2000.