Furniture designer Robin Day (1915 - 2010) and textile designer Lucienne Day (1917 - 2010) hold a unique place in 20th century design history. For nearly seven decades they pursued independent careers alongside each other, both making outstanding contributions to British design.
A memorial evening to celebrate their lives and achievements was held in October 2011 at the Royal College of Art, London.
The Robin and Lucienne Day Foundation was set up in February 2012 and was registered as an Arts and Education Charity (no. 1147979) in July of that year. The design contents of Robin and Lucienne Day's home were donated to public collections including the V&A Museum and the Geffrye Museum, London. Fiona MacCarthy OBE and Professor Sir Christopher Frayling became Patrons.
The Foundation held its official launch at the Royal College of Art on May 6th 2015. Dr Paul Thompson (RCA Rector), Jeremy Myerson (Helen Hamlyn Professor of Design) and Paula Day (Foundation Chair) spoke to an invited audience. Paula announced the Foundation's first Awards and presented to the Rector the Robin and Lucienne Day Prize 2015.
The Foundation celebrated the centenary of Robin Day's birth with Day in London, a series of events and exhibitions held during London Design Festival in September 2015. The focus was Robin Day Works in Wood, an exhibit at the V&A Museum curated by Jane Withers and designed by Turner Prize 2015 winners Assemble.
The Foundation's objectives are:
1. To promote knowledge, appreciation and understanding of the nation's design heritage in general, and the work of Robin and Lucienne Day in particular.
2. To encourage provision of public access to the design legacies of Robin and Lucienne Day.
3. To provide opportunities, in a form true to the democratic spirits of Robin and Lucienne Day, which will enable the general public or students of educational establishments to further their study of design in general, and furniture or textile design in particular.
The Foundation is an independent organisation chaired by Paula Day and run by a Board of Trustees, all of whom donate their time and expertise to further the charity's objectives.
The Foundation is the proprietor of all intellectual property rights in the works of Robin and Lucienne Day. It is committed to managing their designs in such a way as to maintain the integrity of their legacies. The Foundation endorses and licenses only high-quality, authentic productions of Robin and Lucienne Day’s original designs, and all royalties are paid directly to the Foundation to support its work.
Christopher Frayling read history at Churchill College Cambridge where he gained a PhD. He joined the Royal College of Art in 1979, founding the Department of Cultural History. In 1996 he was appointed Rector and Vice Provost. He has been awarded honorary doctorates by nine universities in the UK and was knighted in 2001 for his 'services to art and design education'.
He has served as Chairman of the Design Council, Royal Mint Advisory Committee, The Arts Council of England and as a Trustee of the V&A. He is Chancellor of the University of the Arts Bournemouth.
Sir Christopher is a writer and broadcasts on national radio and television.
Fiona MacCarthy is a well known biographer and critic with a special knowledge of 20th century design. She was Design Correspondent of the Guardian and she and her late husband the designer David Mellor were close friends of Robin and Lucienne Day and shared a great admiration for their work. Fiona is a Senior Fellow of the Royal College of Art and was awarded the Royal Society of Arts Bicentenary Medal for services to design. She is delighted to be associated with the Foundation as a patron.
Paula Day is the only child of Robin and Lucienne Day.
She is a writer, poet and garden designer with a Cambridge degree and a doctorate in English Literature. She lives in Cumbria, where for many years she ran her own business pioneering mountain walking holidays for women..
She set up the Robin and Lucienne Day Foundation to care for her parents' life's work, and is committed to passing on their design legacies as an inspiration for future generations.
Paul Thomas is the Chief Executive of Generic Financial Management plc, a firm of Chartered Financial Planners based in Hertfordshire. He has worked in financial services since 1982, including 30 years as an independent financial planner. He advises clients from business, media, arts and sports backgrounds in the UK, and was personal financial adviser to Robin and Lucienne Day for 26 years.
Mary Mullin is Chairman of the Sir Misha Black Awards for Distinguished Services to Design Education, a Regional Adviser to International Council of Societies of Industrial Design and was Secretary General of the International Council of Graphic Design for thirteen years. She has served as consultant for UNIDO in Latin America and as National Chairman of the Design and Industries Association. She is an Hon. Fellow of the Royal College of Art, The University of the Arts in Bournemouth and the International Society of Typographic Design.
Sophie White is a Chartered Tax Adviser and founder of Total Tax Limited, a firm of tax advisers and accountants based in the New Forest, and has over 25 years of experience in delivering tax and accountancy solutions for the professional, business and private markets.
Specialist advice to Charities and Designers/Artists is an area of increasing complexity; Sophie assists the Trustees of The Robin and Lucienne Day Foundation to ensure accountability to the core charitable objectives.
Caroline Roberts currently divides her time between delivering editorial and PR projects for a variety of design-led clients, teaching Critical and Cultural Studies, and running Grafik.net.
She has a background in textiles and design curation and has written a number of books on design and illustration for Laurence King Publishing.
Michael Varvill is a solicitor and partner in HGF, the intellectual property law firm. He is a brand management specialist, providing services in the field of copyrights, designs and trademarks, particularly licensing, marketing and enforcement.
Amos Marchant is an independent Industrial Designer and consultant with extensive experience designing a wide range of products. In 2001-02 Amos worked with Twentytwentyone to realise the production of Robin Day's 'Avian' range.
Amos studied Furniture and Product Design at Kingston Polytechnic and gained an MA in Design Studies from Central St Martins. He was a visiting tutor at Ravensbourne College for 14 years and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Born in London, Fernando Gutiérrez studied graphic design at the London College of Printing. He has worked from London, Barcelona and Madrid with high profile organisations including El Pais newspaper, Matador international arts magazine, Colors Magazine, The Prado Museum, Tate Modern, the V&A and the Design Museum.
A former Pentagram partner, he established Studio Fernando Gutiérrez in 2006. Fernando has been a member of the Alliance Graphique Internationale since 1997 and was made a Royal Designer for Industry in 2014.
Wilhelmina Baldwin is founder of Bound Book, which creates website design and database management for artists and cultural organisations.
She has organised and published collections at the BBC, The Design Council and the Royal College of Art, as well as the private archives of several contemporary UK artists.
Lesley Jackson is a writer, curator and design historian specializing in 20th century design. Her books include The New Look: Design in the Fifties (Thames & Hudson, 1991); The Sixties: Decade of Design Revolution (Phaidon, 1998); 20th Century Pattern Design (Mitchell Beazley, 2002); Modern British Furniture (V&A, 2013).
In 2001 she curated a major retrospective on the Days at the Barbican, accompanied by the book Robin and Lucienne Day: Pioneers of Contemporary Design (Mitchell Beazley, revised edition 2011).