Perfect in its simplicity, poise and practicality, the 'Reclining Chair' designed by the late Robin Day in 1952, is considered by many – including the designer himself – to be his most successful product. In addition, it's also one of his most enduring: 63 years after its conception, the chair is now in production with London design store Twentytwentyone.
To commemorate what would have been the celebrated British designer's 100th birthday (he was born on 25 May 1915), the London retailer has challenged ten of the world's most esteemed design talents to upholster his creation in a textile of their choice – specifically, in 'a fabric that that appeals to their own personal design criteria while resonating with the chair’s original spirit and character'.
'The 'Reclining Chair Edit' became a means to channel the respect held for Robin Day into a real and shareable product,' says Twentytwentyone co-founder Simon Alderson. 'It's difficult to ask a designer to intervene on another's work, but through the specification of the Reclining chair's upholstery it's possible to add one's creativity without undermining the integrity of the original.'
'The results are a unique marriage of classic and contemporary design, and the calibre of the designers is a true reflection on the stature and influence of Robin Day. We think Robin would be intrigued.'
The 'Reclining Chair Centenary Design Edit' – upholstered with fabrics chosen by BarberOsgerby, Ilse Crawford, Tom Dixon, Martino Gamper, Kenneth Grange, Matthew Hilton, Margaret Howell, Michael Marriot, Jasper Morrison and Terence Woodgate – will be presented at Twentytwentyone's Clerkenwell showroom between 1-7 July. Following the launch, the ten interpretations will be available to order and will not – in keeping with Day’s design philosophies – be limited or up-charged.