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Friday 17 October 2014

Friday I'm in Love - Robin Day

This week's Friday I'm in Love is all about Robin Day. If you don't know who is he is, here is a small recap:
Robin Day was a British furniture designer, who shot to fame in 1951 when he designed the seating for the Royal Festival Hall. He is best be remembered for the, at the time revolutionary and to become ubiquitous, polypropylene stacking chair (see picture below). Every village hall, school, waiting room seemed to have one in grey or orange. This was the product that fulfilled his stated aim for great design to be affordable and available to all.

Robin Day Stacking Chair
Robin Day: stacking chair

Soon after Robin teamed up with Hille, a British furniture company, expanding on their furniture range , making it more contemporary while remaining flexible and economic. Some of his trademark furniture were:
  • the Single Convertible bed settee, which won the first of several Design Centre Awards in 1957.
Single Convertible bed settee by Robin Day for Hille c1957
  • Space saving and multifunctional Modular Storage System
Storage system by Robin Day for Hille International Ltd, 1950-51

  •  He even designed the perforated steel seating that are so universally well known in the London Underground

However, I discovered his design when Habitat, headed by Tom Dixon as their creative director, reissued some of his earlier designs. This triggered off a new wave of interest and appreciation.
For years I coveted several of the pieces from Habitat. Although these design were made accessible to the high street, they still came with a high price tag. In spite of that I held on and managed to score a couple of pieces on gumtree at a fraction of the price!!

This beautiful armchair in cream leather with ash surround. It is the comfiest chair I have ever sat on. I was bored while on holidays in France (it was raining can you believe it??) and decided to check gumtree to see what Glasgow had to you do. And this beauty came up. The guy selling it lived at the end of my street and the price was insanely low, so that was fate, don't you think? I had to have it. But I didn't mention it to A, because E was just a couple of months old, A doesn't like crazy plans or spending any money...even if it is a bargain. So I arranged it all from France and basically I was driving round to pick the armchair 20 minutes after we were back in the house. A was suspecting something and growled at me when he saw me come back with the car crammed with this on it. He refused to sit in it for the first few days to protest but after that he was the one loving it and we had to battle to decide who was allowed to sit in it - our sofa is mega uncomfortable you see!!

The second bargain was this beautiful chair in black leather with walnut back.
This time the gumtree post was in Edinburgh. I sweetened the deal for A with some Krispy Kreme doughnuts.  Again it is a really comfy chair. I would like to use it as a desk chair but we don't have a desk yet so we have been using as a dining chair. Problem is that E has decided it is his chair and insist on using it every diner a desk chair it has to be otherwise it won't survive very long!!

If you are interested to find out more about Robin day you can read this article from the Independent.
There was also an exhibition recently in London organised by Twentytwentyone, I wish I could have gone...

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