What if I told you today’s featured designer produced one of the world’s most popular chairs – so popular in fact, that more than 20 million and counting have been made – could you guess his name?
Robin Day (1915-2010), along with Lucienne, his textile designing wife, are referred to as the Charles and Ray Eames of England. Having risen to prominence at the Festival of Britain in 1951, Day brought modern design to the people in the form of cheaply produced, but well designed and made furniture. The chair I mentioned above is of course the ubiquitous stacking chair known to every school and church hall in the world. Cheap, colorful and practical, it was nothing but revolutionary in the 1960s when it was designed!
His furniture definitely draws on the clean Scandinavian lines of the era, but by using less expensive beech along with veneered plywood and vitrolite glass, his designs transformed furniture production in the UK which saw Day’s modern style as a way to move from the heavy solid furniture of the pre-war period while also skirting the government’s post-war restrictions on material use in private homes.
Even in one of his last furniture lines, Avian, Day’s principles of design and economy are clear. I love the clear reference to wings in the armrests, as well as its industrial look showcasing the nuts and bolts of the structure.
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