Alexander Rose

good design is good business

Design Heroes: Robin Day (1915 – 2010)


author philippa

Robin Day polypropylene chair

We were saddened this week to learn that one of our all-time design heroes, Robin Day, passed away earlier this month. Maybe he couldn’t live without his recently departed – and every bit as exceptional – wife, Lucienne (we’ll dedicate a separate story to her textile design later). Even though most of our design work is primarily graphics based, we pull our influences from all spheres of art and design. We’re big fans of Days mid-century furniture design.

It’s a mark of a truly great designer when their work has mass acceptance and achieves longevity. Designed in 1962, an astonishing 50 million units have been produced of Days polypropylene (then a new material) chair. Stackable, modern and cheap, the chair was snapped up by schools, restaurants and airports. His designs still look as fresh and contemporary today, as they must have looked revolutionary then.

Days sparing use of materials was reflective of an economical Post-war Britain. His furniture design often relied on using as few components as possible. This approach put him years ahead of our seemingly recent ethical focus on minimising waste and excess materials.

More recently a new generation was introduced to Day’s furniture design when British interiors chain Habitat reissued some of his designs.

We love his modernist aesthetic. He has (pardon the pun) taken his seat alongside Jacobsen, Eames and Bertoia as a true icon of furniture design. From inside the classroom through to British landmarks – including the wonderful Barbican Centre in London – his design lives on with us everyday.

Robin & Lucienne Day

Robin Day stackable polypropylene chair

Habitat chair

(Images sourced from The Design Museum and Habitat)

This entry was posted in Furniture design, Inspiration and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

1

Comments are closed.

Stay up to date with our latest news + views
Authors
  • admin
  • darren
  • philippa
  • Recent Posts
  • Our Creative Director, Philippa Dawe’s opening keynote talk from UX Design Day – Dunedin, April 2013
  • Happy Christmas 2012
  • We’re moving office!
  • Trilogy packaging design
  • Godfrey Wiig identity
  • Air New Zealand go digital for the rugby Sevens
  • Get Fresh campaign
  • Get Fresh campaign: go behind the scenes
  • NEW CLIENT Air New Zealand
  • Congratulations Emma!
  • NEW coffee cups for The Hobbit
  • May the 4th be with you
  • Talk is cheap and invaluable
  • Our thoughts are with Christchurch
  • Design Heroes: Robin Day (1915 – 2010)
  • Archives
  • May 2013 (1)
  • December 2012 (1)
  • November 2012 (3)
  • October 2011 (3)
  • September 2011 (2)
  • August 2011 (1)
  • May 2011 (1)
  • March 2011 (1)
  • February 2011 (1)
  • November 2010 (2)
  • September 2010 (1)
  • Tags
    Brand Survey Star Wars Just for fun The Hobbit Customers Focus group 20th century design Charity Christchurch Posters sustainable recycling Skincare Corporate Communication Digital Inspiration Pitch interactive Congratulations Internship Photography animation furniture design Robin Day graffiti screen printing new new zealand minimalism Gordon Walters urban art polypropylene modernism art branding Talk Caffe L'affare coffee Air New Zealand social media Auckland New client Graphic Design Campaign events packaging design Advertising
    © 2003 - 2010 Alexander Rose (NZ) Ltd / Alexander Rose Visual Communication Ltd