Robin Day – Furniture & Chair Designer

Robin Day must surely be amongst Britain’s most famous post war furniture and chair designers.

He trained at the Royal College of Art just prior to the second world war, having specialised in furniture and interior design.

He began a long connection in 1950 with the British furniture manufacturer Hille, who were keen to progress from the traditional furniture they had produced up until then. Robin Day designed a range of simple chairs, desks tables and storage for them.

As materials and labour were not abundant at this time his designs concentrated on low cost furniture with a minimum number of components. He was always more interested in the function of his furniture rather than making some striking design statement.

The relationship with Hille continued and in 1963 he designed his most famous product, the polypropylene chair for them. This emphasised his commitment to the design of inexpensive furniture that could be readily mass produced.

The polypropylene chair was a huge success combining the qualities of strength, light weight, durability and functionality. The polypropylene chair has gone on to be made by the million, not counting the huge number of imitations that have sprung up since. None however seem to match the design ethics of Day’s original.

Polypropylene school and outdoor chairs followed in the 1970’s.

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