“It isn’t an exaggeration to say that Robin Day is one of the most significant furniture designers of the 20th century. There aren’t many people who haven’t sat on one of his chairs.” says the London Design Festival as we mark the centenary of design Robin Day.
Earlier this year we celebrated the birthday of Robin Day, the designer born in 1915 and best known for the world’s first low-cost injection-moulded Polypropylene Chair. Now, during the London Design Festival, we are taking the time to celebrate the works of this designer through a retrospective of his key pieces over the past six decades. Leading us through furniture produced from 1951—2014, the exhibition shows the breadth of his work and the skill of a man who dedicated his life to creating products to be used by as many people as possible.
Born in High Wycombe, 1915, Robin Day began his career teaching interior design at the Regent Street Polytechnic (now the University of Westminster), where he met the architect Peter Moro. The two formed a partnership to design public information exhibitions. Although the war had impeded Robin’s ambition to become a furniture designer, his fortunes changed in 1948 when he and Clive Latimer won First Prize in the Storage Section of the International Competition for Low-Cost Furniture Design organised by the Museum of Modern Art in New York. This success brought him to the attention of S. Hille & Co., a small London furniture firm keen to branch out into modern design. The prize was also instrumental in securing an important commission to design the seating for the Royal Festival Hall in 1951, another major breakthrough in his career. [extracts taken from Wikipedia]
‘Robin Day—Redefining British Design’ features a range of classic Robin Day designs, including the West Street Chair that Day designed for Case in 2006 and our reissue of the 675 Chair. Among the other designs exhibited are Robin Day’s Royal Festival Hall dining chair and 658 chair, designed for the Festival of Britain and the re-launched Polypropylene chair, which represented a major breakthrough in furniture design technology and has sold in tens of millions all over the world since its launch in 1963.
Paula Day, daughter of Robin Day and Chair of the Robin and Lucienne Day Foundation, commented: “I’m delighted that Case Furniture has gathered together so many of my father’s designs to create this display for the London Design Festival. People will get a chance to see authentic Robin Day pieces dating from the opening of the Royal Festival Hall in 1951 right through to his creative renaissance in the early 2000s.”
Running throughout London Design Festival, the retrospective is held in our new Wandsworth showroom as part of the ‘Day in London’ programme, a series of installations and events including the V&A Museum, John Lewis and twentytwentyone, held to mark Robin Day’s centenary year.