For the second time this month, the Islington-based design store Twentytwentyone has paid tribute to the centenary of the birth of Robin Day, this time with the production of the ‘Robin Day 100 Designs’ poster.
Designed by Studio Fernando Gutierrez and launched with the Robin and Lucienne Day Foundation – set up in 2012 by the couple’s daughter Paula – the poster features images of 100 of Day's seminal designs, as well as a wealth of portraiture; many of the images are drawn from the Foundation’s archive and have never been seen before.
Day, who died in 2010, was one of 20th century British furniture design's most lauded practitioners. He received his big break in 1948, when he and fellow designer Clive Latimer won the International Competition for Low-Cost Furniture at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), an accolade that kickstarted an estimable 70 year career that saw Day design the Royal Festival Hall’s seating for the Festival of Britain in 1951 and produce a prolific body of work for clients such as Hille (in particular the hugely successful 1963 'Polypropylene Chair'), Pye, BOAC and the Barbican. He was awarded the OBE in 1983.
Day’s meticulous approach to furniture design was both practically and philosophically driven. As well as stating that 'a good design should fulfil its purpose well, be soundly constructed and should express in its design this purpose and construction', the designer also maintained an earnest belief in the power of design to fundamentally improve the lives of those around him.