Lucienne Day was born on January 5th 1917. On would have been her 100th birthday, we are launching a programme of celebrations taking place at venues right across the country all through her centenary year.
Our Lucienne Day Centenary webpage launches on our website today, with all confirmed exhibition and event listings, shopping information and our pick of the #LucienneDay100 social media posts.
A selection of the exhibitions and events launching early in the year is included below. Much more to come in our Spring Newsletter.
Lucienne Day 100 Designs poster
Our Lucienne Day 100 Designs poster launches today at selected outlets nationwide.
Designed by Studio Fernando Gutiérrez especially for the centenary, it celebrates Lucienne Day's six-decade design career and showcases a wealth of images from our newly-developed Lucienne Day digital archive, many of which have never before been published. The poster may be purchased online from London design retailer twentytwentyone.
Lucienne Day Textiles in Pallant Restaurant
Pallant House Gallery, Chichester
January 5th – June 11th
In their last years Lucienne and Robin Day made their home in Chichester. Pallant House Gallery holds one of the country’s finest collections of 20th century British art and its restaurant, furnished with Robin Day’s chairs, is hosting a display of Lucienne Day textiles.
Lucienne Day’s ‘100th birthday’ tea
Pallant Restaurant, Chichester
Thursday January 5th, 3pm
A celebratory afternoon tea party organised by local designer Alys Bryan will be held at Pallant House Gallery. Paula Day will talk about her mother's life and work, and the programme of events taking place nationwide in her centenary year. Guests will receive as a memento a limited-edition cotton napkin featuring a rare Lucienne Day print.
Lucienne Day at Persephone Books
Persephone Books, London
January 5th onwards
A display of Persephone Books publications with Lucienne Day textile design endpapers. Lucienne Day agreed to the use of her designs on these high-quality reprints of titles by mid-twentieth century women writers.
The Legacy of Lucienne and Robin Day: a Partnership Perspective
The John Lewis Heritage Centre, Cookham
January 3rd – March 25th
This exhibition reveals the lasting influence of Lucienne and Robin Day in their twenty-five years as joint Design Consultants to the John Lewis Partnership. Their coherent and consistent style, reflecting the enterprising and enlightened ideas behind the co-owned business, can still be identified in the stores today. The Heritage Centre holds an archive of documents and images which chart this relationship, as well as a unique collection of Lucienne Day's own original textiles artwork.
New Lucienne Day Textiles
We have been working with our licensee Classic Textiles on new productions of Lucienne Day's designs Lapis (1953) and Silver Birch (1958). The authentic new prints have been carefully colour-matched to original 1950s textiles held at Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, and to Lucienne Day's own artwork for Silver Birch, held at the John Lewis Heritage Centre, Cookham.
The two designs will launch exclusively at John Lewis, as part of a range of Lucienne Day at Classic Textiles furnishing fabrics and exclusive new cushions available at selected branches from early in 2017.
Lucienne Day: Living Design
The Gallery, Arts University Bournemouth
January 12th – March 22nd
This exhibition tells the story of Lucienne Day’s design career, unfolding in a sequence of photographs drawn from the archives of the Robin and Lucienne Day Foundation. This is complemented by a vibrant display of original silk mosaics and an impressive array of current or recent productions of Lucienne Day’s designs for curtains, dress fabrics and tea towels, demonstrating the continuing vitality of her design legacy. In a lifetime of dedicated design practice, Lucienne Day created a body of work which is steadily coming back into commercial production to excite and inspire a new generation.
Lucienne Day: Living Design - Panel Discussion
The Gallery, Arts University Bournemouth
Thursday January 12th, 5.15 – 6.15pm
To mark the opening of the exhibition Lucienne Day: Living Design, a panel chaired by exhibition curator Professor Emma Hunt will discuss the life and work of Lucienne Day. Panel members will include Professor Sir Christopher Frayling, Dr Paula Day and Dr Jennifer Harris.
Lucienne Day: Living Design – for schools and colleges
Arts University Bournemouth
Thursday February 9th, 10 – 3pm
Thursday March 9th, 10 – 3pm
After an introduction and visit to the exhibition, participants will be invited to make decorative artwork inspired by the colours and repeats of Lucienne Day’s designs using a variety of papers and graphic materials.
Thursday March 16th, 12.30 – 3.15pm
A talk and film screening for schools and college students.
Contemporary Days: The Designs of Lucienne and Robin Day
Northwest Lecture Theatre, Arts University Bournemouth
Thursday March 16th
Film Screening, 5 – 6.15pm
Drinks Reception, 6.15 – 7.15pm
This moving and informative full-length documentary made in 2010 by US nonprofit foundation Design Onscreen includes archival photos and interviews with family, friends and design experts. View film clip on our website www.robinandluciennedayfoundation.org
Robin Day studio at Design Museum
Elements of Robin Day's studio on loan from the Foundation have been installed in the Sackler Library in the new Design Museum. Items on display include his drawing table, drawing implements, set-squares and small models, together with part of Robin and Lucienne Day’s art and design books collection.
The Design Museum re-opened to the public at its new site, the former Commonwealth Institute in Kensington High Street, on November 24th.
Robin Day carpets at Midlands Modern
Some of Robin Day’s 1961/62 carpet designs for Woodward Grosvenor, now held in the Brinton’s Carpets archive, are on show at Midlands Modern, Parkside Gallery, Birmingham till January 14th 2017.
The exhibition showcases products manufactured by Midlands based companies working with significant designers from 1930 to 1980.
Poly Chairs in white / chrome
Robin Day’s Polypropylene side chair and armchair with white shell and chrome frame are now available to pre-order from John Lewis.
White was one of the ‘second generation’ of Polypropylene Chair colours launched by British furniture company Hille in the late 1960s.
100 Midcentury Chairs
This new Pavilion Books publication by Lucy Ryder Richardson, co-founder of Midcentury Modern Shows, features her personal selection of international 20th century chair designs. Robin Day is represented by his Hillestak, 675 Chair and Reclining Chair.
Lucienne Day’s monumental silk mosaics Aspects of the Sun (1990) and Islands (1991) have been rehung at John Lewis Kingston.
The pieces were commissioned for the lofty coffee shop in the new John Lewis store at Kingston-upon-Thames. Aspects of the Sun consists of six variations on a solar theme, while the twelve panels of Islands together depict a single landscape. This September both works were rehung on an expansive wall above the menswear department. They can now be viewed across the store from the Design Icons furniture area where Robin Day’s chairs are on display.
Lucienne Day Centenary preparations
We are preparing to celebrate Lucienne Day’s centenary next year with a nationwide programme of exhibitions and events, due to launch online on her ‘100th birthday’, January 5th 2017.
Studio Fernando Gutiérrez have designed the graphics and publicity will be managed by Caro Communications.
We are creating a Lucienne Day 100 Designs poster which will display a wealth of previously unpublished images from our newly-developed Lucienne Day digital archive.
Robin and Lucienne Day RCA Award
This year we awarded the RCA Robin and Lucienne Day Prize to Woven Textiles MA student Jacqueline Lefferts for her pioneering work on single-process garment construction. By merging the manufacture of fabrics and fashion, materials wastage and shipping between links in the supply chain can be reduced.
The Robin and Lucienne Day Prize is awarded annually to a final-year student of textile or product design whose work, in the judgement of the RCA Rector and Foundation Chair, reflects Robin and Lucienne Day’s own commitment to social and environmental responsibility as well as high aesthetic quality.
Robin Day Centenary Project winner at New Designers
Robin Day Centenary Project winner Madara Degtere exhibited her winning lounge chair at New Designers, London in July, alongside work by fellow Bucks New University furniture BA Hons graduates.
Paula Day piece on design copies
Paula Day wrote about the importance of respecting designers’ legacies in a piece published in Caro Communications’ Bulletin in August. "My father’s name represents a lifetime of dedicated design practise" she explained.
Mourne Textiles exhibition
An exhibition celebrating the life and work of Gerd Hay-Edie, inspirational weaver and founder of Mourne Textiles, has just opened at the Margaret Howell shop in London.
The exhibits include vintage examples of Robin Day's Slat Chair (1952) and Telechair (1953), as well as London design retailer twentytwentyone's new production of his Reclining Chair (1952). All three chairs are upholstered in the Mourne Check weave which was extensively used by furniture company Hille on Robin Day's designs.
Gerd Hay-Edie: Evolutionary Weaver
34 Wigmore Street, London
Thursday 13 October -
Sunday 30 October 2016
We have now re-licensed Persephone Books who with Lucienne Day's agreement used her designs as endpapers for some of their beautifully-produced publications. Horse's Head (1940) is used for Princes in the Land by Joanna Cannan, Palisade (1952) for A Woman's Place 1910 - 1975 by Ruth Adam, and Plantation (1958) for Lettice Delmer by Susan Miles.
Persephone Books specialise in reprinting titles by mid-twentieth century women writers.
We have appointed Caroline Roberts as the Foundation’s new administrator.
Caroline has a background in textiles and design curation. Currently she delivers editorial and PR projects for a variety of design-led clients as well as running Grafik.net.
Foundation Chair Paula Day visited her father’s birthplace High Wycombe on June 10th to review full-size design prototypes developed by Buckinghamshire New University BA Hons Furniture students on the final stage of the Robin Day Centenary Project. She presented a Robin Day Polypropylene Chair to the winner, Madara Degtere.
The project was launched in November 2015 and run by the Foundation’s furniture technician Amos Marchant and the University’s furniture tutors Fiona Davidson and Alex Hellum.
Paula Day said: It was a pleasure to see the very wide range of excellent work developed by students who participated in the Robin Day Centenary Project. Madara Degtere's reclining chair stood out; careful thought had gone into every aspect of the design…and the result was visually interesting and very comfortable.
The high standard of work is a tribute to the staff and students of the furniture department. I am deeply saddened to learn that the University has now closed the department. This is the institution which trained my father and many other leading furniture designers up to the present day. For over 100 years it has held in trust and passed on to successive generations the accumulated furniture experience of High Wycombe, historic heart of the furniture industry. The tragic loss this closure represents to the British design industry is underlined by the outstanding quality of the work produced by students in this final year.
All the students’ work will be on show at New Designers, Business Design Centre, London N1, July 6th – 9th
Robin Day student design
An inlaid bureau owned by Robert Simmons, whose family were neighbours of Robin Day’s parents at Hughenden Road, High Wycombe, has been identified as a student piece made by Robin Day at High Wycombe School of Art (now Buckinghamshire New University) c.1932. This is the earliest known design by Robin Day.
Midcentury Magazine Robin Day print
Midcentury Magazine have published a limited edition A5 letterpress print inspired by Robin Day’s words: In my long years of designing, the thing that has always interested me is the social context of design and designing things that are good quality that most people can afford. It was always my mission to mass-produce low-cost seating, because I do think that clarity and what we call 'good design' is a social force that can enhance people's environments. (Robin Day, 1999).
The print completes a set of three inspired by the words of Le Corbusier, Charles Eames and Robin Day respectively.
Midcentury Magazine is a twice-yearly publication which celebrates the best of 20th century furniture, interiors and architecture.
Foundation Chair tours
John Lewis Design Icons
Foundation Chair Paula Day is touring John Lewis stores with Design Icons areas to talk to furniture sales staff about her father’s designs.
John Lewis carries the Robin Day 675 Chair, produced by Case Furniture, and the Robin Day Polypropylene Side Chair and Armchair, manufactured by Hille.
Days in Sussex
Days in Sussex, a design event organised by Alys Bryan, took place on April 9th at The Novium, Chichester before a capacity audience. Paula Day presented an illustrated talk about her parents’ lives and work. Distinguished design journalist Peter Murray chaired a panel discussion on the Days’ contemporary significance with designers Gerardine Hemingway and Charlie Fowler.
Audience members viewed an exhibition of Robin and Lucienne Day’s designs and received a complimentary copy of the Robin Day 100 Designs poster courtesy of London design retailer twentytwentyone.
Lucienne Day digital archive
The Foundation has commissioned Gwen Riley-Jones of the Centre for Heritage Imaging, Manchester University to digitise Lucienne Day’s own collection of over 600 photographic prints and slides, and Michael Pollard to photograph the Whitworth Art Gallery’s archive of over 300 Lucienne Day textiles, carpets and wallpapers, the majority of which were donated to the Gallery by the designer herself.
Together with nearly 70 images of textiles in their private collection generously shared by Kirk Brown and Jill Wiltse and 30 images of designs in their archive kindly provided by the John Lewis Partnership, this new digital material will form a comprehensive record of Lucienne Day’s work from 1940 to the end of the century.
Cataloguing is now underway, with input from design historian Lesley Jackson. Foundation archivist Wilhelmina Baldwin has put in place a system for recording permissions and credits requirements for all images.
Bookroom Art Press Lucienne Day prints
Fine art publishers Bookroom Art Press are launching four high-quality limited edition prints of tea towels designed by Lucienne Day from 1959 onwards for Belfast-based linen company Thomas Somerset. The prints show images of original textiles held in the archives of the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester.
The Bookroom Art Press specialise in reproducing the work of 20th century fine artists including Eric Ravilious, Victor Pasmore and Patrick Caulfield. Their limited edition prints are stocked in Art Gallery shops nationwide. The Lucienne Day series marks a new departure and will place her work alongside that of some of Britain’s most distinguished fine artists of the 20th century.
Lucienne Day tea towels in pure Irish linen are available from London design retailer twentytwentyone.
Robin and Lucienne Day Prize at RCA
For the second year running the Foundation will be making an award at the Royal College of Art. The Robin and Lucienne Day Prize will be awarded to a final-year student of textile or product design whose work, in the judgement of the RCA Rector and Foundation Chair, reflects Robin and Lucienne Day’s own commitment to social and environmental responsibility as well as high aesthetic quality.
In 2015 the prize was awarded to Printed Textiles MA student Lucy Rainbow for her designs for NHS hospital workwear in sustainable fabrics such as hemp.
Robin and Lucienne Day both studied at RCA and met there in March 1940.
Lucienne Day’s designs Magnetic (1957) and Mezzanine (1958) (shown here with George Kravis and Juilet Kinchin, Curator of Historical Design) are on display at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
The textiles were presented to the Museum on a part-gift basis by Kirk Brown and Jill Wiltse, whose extensive Lucienne Day textile collection has been widely exhibited at venues including the Textile Museum, Washington DC, the Fashion & Textile Museum, London, and Pallant House Gallery, Chichester.
Kirk Brown and Jill Wiltse founded Denver-based not-for-profit foundation Design Onscreen, which made the documentary film Contemporary Days: the Designs of Lucienne and Robin Day (2010).
Days in Sussex
On April 9th 2016 Paula Day and a panel of design professionals including Gerardine Hemmingway and Charlie Fowler will speak about her parents’ lives and work at The Novium Museum, Chichester, West Sussex.
Robin and Lucienne Day had close links with Sussex and lived in Chichester for their final decade. Days in Sussex is organised by local designer Alys Bryan, who was one of the Bucks New University Furniture MA students to visit Robin and Lucienne Day at their Chichester home in 2006.
The Novium received an RIBA Award for architectural excellence in 2014.
Tickets are available online from
Robin Day chairs at Pallant House
The restaurant at Pallant House Gallery in Chichester has been re-furnished with Robin Day’s 675 Chairs and West Street Chairs. Robin Day finalised the West Street Chair design for Case Furniture in 2006 when he was living at West Street, Chichester.
Pallant House Gallery holds one of the country’s finest collections of Modern British Art. In 2011 the Gallery held an exhibition entitled Robin and Lucienne Day: Design and the Modern Interior.
Lucienne Day wallpaper at Whitworth
The Whitworth Art Gallery’s new exhibition Wallpaper includes four of Lucienne Day’s designs including Provence, which was launched at the Festival of Britain in 1951.
In the 1950s Lucienne Day designed wallpapers for a number of companies including Cole & Son, John Line, WPM (Crown) and the German firm Rasch.
The exhibition runs till September 4th 2016.
Poly Chair in John Lewis Home Book
Robin Day’s Polypropylene Chair features opposite the Eames DKW Wire Chair in the John Lewis Spring/Summer 2016 Home Book.
The Robin Day Polypropylene Side Chair and Armchair and the Robin Day 675 Chair are available at ten John Lewis Design Icons branches nationwide as well as online.
Bucks New University Robin Day Centenary Project
On December 15th 2015 the Foundation’s Chair Paula Day visited her father’s birthplace High Wycombe to join Foundation furniture technician Amos Marchant and Bucks New University tutors Fiona Davidson and Alex Hellum in viewing models made by BA Hons Furniture students for the first stage of the Robin Day Centenary Furniture Design Project.
Paula presented a copy of Robin and Lucienne Day: Pioneers of Contemporary Design to Sabiha Macit as a prize for best design concept.
The project will conclude in June 2016 when the students present full-size design prototypes.
Assemble wins Turner Prize
The Turner Prize 2015 was awarded to Architects’ collective Assemble.
The announcement was made on December 7th at Glasgow Tramway. Assemble displayed items made at the Granby Workshop, Liverpool, a project set up as part of their collaboration with residents to regenerate the Granby area of the city.
Assemble designed Robin Day Works in Wood, the exhibit shown at V&A during London Design Festival 2015 to celebrate Robin Day’s Centenary.
twentytwentyone turns 20
The Foundation congratulates design retailer twentytwentyone on the company’s 20th anniversary.
Twentytwentyone was set up by Simon Alderson and Tony Cunningham in 1996. In the early years of the new millennium the company commissioned Robin Day to design the Avian range and reissued classics such as Lucienne Day’s tea towels.
Twentytwentyone’s collaborations with the Foundation have included At Home with the Days online fundraising auction in 2014 and the Robin Day Reclining Chair Centenary Edition in 2015.
Foundation on Twitter
The Foundation’s Twitter account provides daily information about events, exhibitions and publications featuring the work of Robin and Lucienne Day, design history including images from the Foundation’s digital archive, and current licensed productions of the Days’ designs.
An LDF exhibition exploring Robin Day’s lifelong love for wood was shown at V&A from September 19th to October 4th. Robin Day Works in Wood was curated by Jane Withers and designed by Assemble, with graphics by Studio Gutiérrez. The timber plinths and table were fabricated by Benchmark.
The exhibit was supported by the Foundation and by public money from Arts Council England, with further sponsorship from John Lewis and Benchmark. The Robin Day furniture on display was loaned by twentytwentyone, Amos Marchant, Michael and Anne Sydney, Case Furniture and Paula Day.
The Foundation would like to thank all the sponsors and lenders.
Celebrating Robin Day at V&A
A Robin Day symposium was held at V&A on September 25th. Paula Day, Corinne Julius, John Simmons and Amos Marchant spoke. V&A archivist Christopher Marsden presented a selection of Robin Day’s posters and technical drawings.
The audience included students from the furniture programme at Bucks New University, formerly High Wycombe Art School, where Robin Day studied in the early 1930s.
Robin Day: Redefining British Design
A Robin Day Retrospective was launched at Case Furniture’s new Wandsworth showroom on September 21st. The original Robin Day pieces on show ranged from his 1951 chairs for the Royal Festival Hall to designs from the 2000s.
Case Furniture manufacture Robin Day’s 675 chair (1952) and West Street chair (2006)
Robin Day Design Icons at John Lewis
Robin Day’s Polypropylene side chair and armchair for Hille are now available at all ten John Lewis branches with Design Icons departments nationwide.
Robin Day 675 chair now at Heal’s
Case Furniture’s endorsed production of Robin Day’s 675 chair (1952) is now available at Heal’s Designer Brands on the second floor of the Tottenham Court Road store.
Robin Day Reclining chair at twentytwentyone
The Centenary Edition of Robin Day’s Reclining chair (1952) with upholstery by ten of the country’s foremost designers is still available from design retailer twentytwentyone.
Robin Day’s Avian range (2000) and Tricorne tray are also manufactured by twentytwentyone, and his Sussex bench and table for Magis may be ordered through the company.
Robin Day project at Bucks New University
The Foundation’s furniture technician Amos Marchant with tutors Fiona Davidson and Alex Hellum are running a Robin Day Centenary design project for furniture students at Bucks New University this November.
In 2006 Robin and Lucienne Day invited Bucks New University furniture students and tutors to their home in Chichester. Photo by Tony Smart.
Peter Moro: A 20th Century Architect Reassessed
The work of architect Peter Moro is the subject of a conference organised by the Twentieth Century Society to be held at the University of Westminster, London on November 14th.
Peter Moro invited Robin Day to work with him on exhibition designs in the late 1940s, and brought him in to design all the furniture for his Royal Festival Hall interiors. Later collaborations included Nottingham Theatre and the Hille showroom in Albemarle Street.
Foundation on Twitter
The Foundation can now be followed on Twitter @Robin_Lucienne.
Robin Day 100 Designs poster, £12
Robin Day Polypropylene chair, £49
Robin Day’s centenary will be celebrated with exhibitions and events across the capital during London Design Festival (September 19th - 27th).
A free ‘Day in London’ fold-out map is available by post from the Foundation.
Robin Day Works in Wood
A ‘forest’ installation by Turner Prize nominees Assemble puts Robin Day’s work into a new perspective. The exhibit, curated by Jane Withers, juxtaposes his furniture designs with personal objects he made by hand out of the material he loved best – wood.
V&A, Britain 1500–1760, Landing, Level 4,
Cromwell Road, London, SW7 2RL
19 September - 4 October
Mon – Sun 10.00am – 5.45pm
Celebrating Robin Day at V&A
Speakers at this symposium include design journalist Corinne Julius, Robin Day’s daughter Paula Day, and Robin Day’s draughtsman John Simmons in conversation with the Foundation’s furniture technician Amos Marchant. Technical drawings from the V&A archive will be on view.
V&A, The Lydia and Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre,
Cromwell Road, London, SW7 2RL
10.30am – 12.30am
£28, £25 concessions,
Robin Day 100 Designs
During London Design Festival the Robin Day centenary poster will be in stock at the V&A shop, Case Furniture and twentytwentyone. It is also available online from twentytwentyone.
Robin Day Reclining chair Centenary Edition
Ten of the country’s foremost designers collaborate with twentytwentyone to pay tribute to Robin’s classic Reclining chair (1952) by selecting contemporary upholstery. First launched on June 30th, the Centenary Edition is now on display at twentytwentyone’s shop and showroom.
SHOP: 274-275 Upper Street
London N1 2UA
19 – 27 September
Mon – Sat 10am – 6pm
Sun 11am – 5pm
SHOWROOM: 18C River Street
London EC1R 1XN
19 – 27 September
Mon – Sat 9.30am – 5.30pm
Robin Day: Re-defining British Design
A retrospective showing original Robin Day pieces on loan from private collectors across the country, including chairs designed for the opening of the Royal Festival Hall in 1951, and the closely related 675 chair (1952).
23 East Hill, London, SW18 2HZ
19 – 27 September
Mon – Fri 10am – 6pm
Sat 10am – 4pm
Robin Day Design Icons
Robin Day’s most famous designs, the Polypropylene side chair (1963) and armchair (1967), re-launch alongside his classic 675 dining chair in a special Robin Day display on the new Home Floors at John Lewis Oxford Street. All the chairs are available to order online and will be ranged at ten John Lewis Design Icons departments across the country by the end of September.
Robin and Lucienne Day worked as Design Consultants to John Lewis from 1962 – 1987, overseeing a transformation of all aspects of the company’s house style.
John Lewis Design Floor,
300 Oxford St,
London, W1C IDX
19 – 27 September
Mon – Sat 9.30am – 8pm
Thurs 9.30am – 9pm
Sun 12pm – 6pm
Foundation and Hille
The Foundation is delighted to announce a new collaboration with Hille Educational Products.
Robin Day designed the Hille logo in 1949 at the start of his long and close relationship with the Hille family firm. Over the next three decades his prolific and innovative output for the company, including the ground-breaking Polypropylene chair (1963), put modern British furniture design on the world map.
Hille Educational Products was incorporated in 2008 when the company was acquired by Brian Foster, who had been responsible for manufacturing much of Hille’s plastic seating from the 1970s onwards. The company has worked closely with the Foundation to re-launch the Polyside and Armchair in Robin’s distinguished grey, charcoal and flame colours, and with Robin’s elegant P5 side chair stacking frame. These British design classics are now made by a skilled and dedicated workforce at the Hille factory in Ebbw Vale, South Wales.
Robin Day Furniture Design Awards 2015
One hundred schools have been presented with copies of Modern British Furniture: Design since 1945 to award to their best GCSE Design and Technology students. The Robin Day Furniture Design Awards scheme was set up in association with the Furniture Makers’ Company.
Johnny Westbrooke, Chief Executive of the Furniture Makers’ Company said: “We were honoured that the Robin and Lucienne Day Foundation chose to mark what would have been renowned furniture designer Robin Day’s 100th birthday with 100 prizes for school children."
Prize-winners included Zac Hebditch, aged 16, The Castle School, Taunton.
Robin and Lucienne Day Prize winner
The Robin and Lucienne Day Prize for Ethical and Sustainable Design 2015 was awarded to Lucy Rainbow, a second-year Printed Textiles student at the Royal College of Art, London. The winner was jointly chosen by the Rector of the RCA and the Chair of the Foundation.
Lucy Rainbow showed prints for nurses’ uniforms on sustainable fabrics such as hemp, designed to bring life-enhancing contact with nature to hospital patients and staff. She said:"I am beyond grateful to The Robin and Lucienne Day Foundation for their support and encouragement, which has served to strengthen my resolve to continue with my design project."
Lucy Rainbow follows in the footsteps of Lucienne Day, who put on her Diploma Show in Printed Textiles at RCA in 1940.
The Foundation held its official launch at the Royal College of Art on May 6th.
Dr. Paul Thompson (RCA Rector), Jeremy Myerson (Helen Hamlyn Professor of Design) and Paula Day (Foundation Chair) spoke to an invited audience of over a hundred people including Robin and Lucienne’s family, friends, staff and fellow RDIs. The design industry, design education, design museums and archives were represented. The Foundation’s Licensees, professional advisers, Trustees and Patrons all attended the event, which was organised by Mary Mullin, one of the Trustees.
Paula Day announced the Foundation’s first Awards and presented to the Rector the Robin and Lucienne Day Prize for Ethical and Sustainable Design 2015
A drinks reception was held in the Senior Common Room. The Foundation's Patrons, Trustees and professional advisers were photographed with the Rector in front of the silk mosaic given to the College by Lucienne Day.
Robin and Lucienne Day Prize 2015
The Robin and Lucienne Day Prize for Ethical and Sustainable Design 2015 will be awarded to the Royal College of Art final year student who, in the judgement of the Rector and the Chair of the Foundation, has realised the design which best embodies Robin and Lucienne Day’s commitment to socially responsible and sustainable design.
Robin Day Furniture Design Awards
To celebrate Robin’s centenary, the Foundation is collaborating with the Furniture Makers’ Company to give 100 state schools a Robin Day Furniture Design Award certificate and a copy of Modern British Furniture to present to their best GCSE Design and Technology student.
Modern British Furniture: Design since 1945 by Lesley Jackson (V&A Publishing) includes two chapters on Robin Day and Hille.
Robin Day 100 Designs poster
Guests at the Launch were presented with a copy of Robin Day 100 Designs. The poster, designed by Studio Fernando Gutierrez and featuring design images and portraits from the Foundation’s archive, is now available from twentytwentyone and other selected outlets.
A year after launching its website, the Foundation has produced a leaflet displaying design images and portraits alongside a brief account of the careers of Robin and Lucienne Day and the work of the Foundation.
Case 675 awarded Design Guild Mark
More than sixty years after it was designed, Robin Day’s 675 chair (1952), now available in Case Furniture’s licensed and endorsed new production, has been awarded a Design Guild Mark by the Furniture Makers’ Company.
The Mark, announced at the Farmiloe Building, Clerkenwell, London on May 19th, was awarded ‘for excellence in design in the British Furniture Industry 2015’.
twentytwentyone Reclining chair edition
Design retailer twentytwentyone is celebrating Robin Day’s centenary with a special edition of Robin’s Reclining chair (1952). Ten of the country’s foremost designers including Margaret Howell CBE and Sir Kenneth Grange have paid tribute by selecting contemporary upholstery fabrics to complement the historic design.
The edition will be launched at twentytwentyone's showroom and available to order from July 1st.
Day in London
The London Design Festival 2015 will celebrate Robin Day’s centenary with a ‘Day in London’ cultural trail. The trail will link a major LDF exhibit at the V&A Museum with displays at the Royal Festival Hall and the Design Museum to highlight different aspects of Robin’s work.
The London Design Festival, the country's biggest annual design event, will run from September 19th - 27th. As well as the LDF’s major exhibits at the V&A, the programme includes hundreds of shows put on by partner organisations across London.
Robin Day at V&A Museum
The London Design Festival’s Robin Day Centenary exhibit will be on view at the V&A, the world’s greatest museum of decorative art and design, from September 19th onwards.
The installation, curated by Jane Withers and designed by Assemble, will explore Robin’s lifelong love of wood.
Robin Day at Royal Festival Hall
The Royal Festival Hall will celebrate Robin Day’s centenary with an exhibit about Robin’s seating for the building, which opened for the Festival of Britain in 1951.
Robin designed all the original furniture, from the orchestra, dining and lounge chairs to the auditorium seating, which is still in use today.
Robin Day at Design Museum
The Design Museum will celebrate Robin Day’s centenary with a display of items from his studio which illustrate his working practise, with particular reference to the Polypropylene chair (1963).
In 2013 the Foundation donated the entire contents of Robin’s last studio to the Design Museum.
The Foundation's official Launch will take place in May at the Royal College of Art, London.
Robin and Lucienne, who both studied at the RCA, first met at a College dance in spring 1940.
The Launch is timed to honour the centenary of Robin Day's birth. Robin was born in High Wycombe in May 1915, a hundred years ago this year.
Foundation appoints PR consultants
Caro Communications will be supporting the Foundation’s launch and Robin Day centenary celebrations this year.
Caro specialises in PR for architects and designers.
Robin Day Photograph Archive
The Foundation’s collection of historic Robin Day design photographs has been accessioned and catalogued by archivist Wilhelmina Baldwin and photographed at the Foundation’s office by Gwen Riley-Jones of the Centre for Heritage Imaging and Collection Care, The University of Manchester Library.
Over 1,300 Robin Day design images and over 250 portrait photographs of the Days have so far been digitised.
Robin Day 100 Designs poster
The Foundation is producing a unique celebratory poster for Robin Day’s centenary. The poster, designed by Fernando Gutiérrez, will feature design images and portraits from the Foundation’s Robin Day Photograph Archive.
Foundation’s graphic designer made RDI
Fernando Gutiérrez, who looks after all the Foundation’s graphics, has been appointed Royal Designer for Industry (RDI).
The RDI is the UK’s highest professional accolade for designers across all disciplines. Fernando was one of only four new RDIs appointed in 2014.
Robin and Lucienne Day were the first married couple both to hold the title (Robin was appointed in 1959 and Lucienne in 1962). In 1987 Lucienne became the first woman Master of the Faculty of RDIs.
Robin Day 675 chair at The Home
Case Furniture’s authentic new production of Robin Day’s 675 chair is now available in an exclusive version with oak finish arms and black frame from The Home, Salts Mill.
The Home, an independent retailer specialising in licensed furniture design classics, is situated in the same building as the David Hockney gallery, a converted mill in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Saltaire, West Yorkshire.
Lucienne Day dress prints
The six dress fabrics designed in 1954 by Lucienne Day for John Lewis company Cavendish are still available in the Haberdashery departments of some John Lewis stores.
The six designs, available in multiple original colourways, are all printed on 100% cotton.
Until January 11th 2015
Anarchy and Beauty: William Morris and his Legacy, 1860 – 1960
The National Portrait Gallery, St Martin’s Place, London WC2H 0HE
Classic Textiles’ licensed digital reprint of Lucienne Day’s Festival of Britain design Calyx (1951) is on display as part of an exhibition about the legacy of William Morris. The exhibition’s curator Fiona MacCarthy, Patron of the Foundation, wrote in her obituary of Lucienne Day:
The reality of ‘art for the people’, dreamed about by the Victorian William Morris, was finally achieved by a female designer in the middle of the 20th century.
(The Guardian, February 3rd 2010).
Case launches Robin Day 675 Chair
Case Furniture has launched an endorsed new production of the classic 675 dining chair, designed by Robin Day in 1952. An example of the original production was the basis for development work carried out in consultation with the Foundation and with close attention to authentic detailing. The 675 Chair is available from John Lewis or direct from Case.
Design: Managing the Legacy
Paula Day spoke about the Foundation’s work to protect her parents’ design legacies at a London Design Festival event held at the V&A on September 16th. Design historian Charlotte Fiell drew the wider picture and Paul Newman of Case Furniture described his company’s collaboration with the Foundation on their new production of Robin’s 675 Chair.
Dezeen online magazine carried a follow-up interview with Paula Day.
Foundation Endorsement Policies
The Foundation has now developed Robin Day and Lucienne Day Endorsement Policies. These set out the Foundation’s criteria for Endorsement of products as high-quality authentic productions of original Robin or Lucienne Day designs. The Endorsement Policies are available to view on request from the Foundation.
Foundation appoints Furniture Technician
The Foundation has appointed industrial designer Amos Marchant as Furniture Technician. Amos, who worked with twentytwentyone on Robin Day’s Avian range, will be responsible for examining and recommending new productions of Robin’s designs to the Trustees for Endorsement.
At Home with the Days result
The At Home with the Days online auction of items from the Days’ homes raised over £33,000.
The auction was generously curated and hosted by design retailer twentytwentyone. All proceeds will help to fund the Foundation’s educational work, specifically the creation of a Robin and Lucienne Day digital archive.
Foundation appoints Digital Archivist
The Foundation has appointed website designer and archivist Wilhelmina Baldwin to digitise the Robin and Lucienne Day photographic archive. The archive will be a unique educational resource and facilitate the supply of images to design journalists, writers, and curators.
Foundation appoints Design Historian
The Foundation’s photographic archive will be supported by input from design historian Lesley Jackson. Lesley’s book Robin and Lucienne Day: Pioneers of Contemporary Design (Mitchell Beazley, new edition 2011) is the definitive work on the Days’ design careers.
Textile Society Lucienne Day Award
This year’s Textile Society Lucienne Day Award has been presented to Rachel Howarth, a graduate of Heriot-Watt University’s Design for Textiles BA.
The Textile Society is an educational charity which promotes the study of textile disciplines and celebrates the history and culture of textiles, both traditional and contemporary. Lucienne Day was the Society’s first Honorary President, a position she held from 1992 – 2002.
With the growing interest in Lucienne’s work, it is essential that the Foundation can ensure that her name is used worldwide to sell only products made to her actual designs. LUCIENNE DAY is now a registered international trademark across ten product categories.
All companies currently marketing licensed and endorsed Lucienne Day products are listed on the Licensees pages of this website
September 17th to 21st
18c River Street, London EC1R
Design retailer twentytwentyone is hosting an exhibition and online auction of items from the Days’ own homes, including china and silk mosaics by Lucienne, and one-off furniture and prototypes by Robin. This is a unique opportunity to learn more about the Days’ home lives and acquire pieces with special provenance.
Twentytwentyone has worked closely with the Foundation for over a year on the conception and development of the sale. The company has generously undertaken to curate, photograph and catalogue the objects, as well as hosting the exhibition and managing the online auction. All proceeds will benefit the Foundation, helping to fund the creation of a Robin and Lucienne Day digital archive.
The Days’ Chichester house is featured in Leslie Williamson’s new book about the homes of celebrated 20th century European designers. Twenty-two photographs of the interiors accompany an account of Leslie’s visit to the house. The homes of Le Corbusier, Finn Juhl and Alvar Aalto are among those covered in other chapters.
Leslie Williamson is a San Francisco-based photographer best known for her interior portraiture.
The Collections Lab
September 11th onwards
28 Shad Thames, London SE1 2YD
Robin Day’s own drawing board and implements will be on show at the Design Museum as part of an exhibition devised to illustrate the design process. The display, focused particularly on Robin’s ground-breaking 1963 Polypropylene Chair, will be accompanied by recordings of Robin’s daughter Paula and his draughtsman John Simmons talking about how he worked.
In 2013 the Foundation donated the entire contents of Robin’s studio to the Design Museum (with the exception of his technical drawings which are archived at the V&A).
Lucienne Day at John Lewis
The John Lewis 150 Years fashion range made from Lucienne’s 1954 dress fabric designs has been described by Andy Street, John Lewis Managing Director, as ‘a triumph’. He went on to say: The collaboration with the Day Foundation has played a key part in making this celebratory year a success.
The fashions, launched in May, sold out within a few weeks. The six dress fabrics will continue to be available from John Lewis haberdashery departments nationwide.
John Lewis is now bringing out a range of cushions using furnishing fabrics (Halloween, Panama and Lucienne) designed by Lucienne for the company in the 1970s.
John Lewis: How We Live Today
September 8th – 11th
28 Shad Thames, London SE1 2YD
The new Lucienne Day cushions will feature in an exhibition held at the Design Museum to mark John Lewis’ 150th anniversary.
John Lewis at Design Junction
September 18th – 21st
The Sorting Office,
21 -31 New Oxford Street, London.WC1A 1BA
John Lewis will be taking part in Design Junction for the first time this year, with a stand featuring the new Lucienne Day cushion range.
Tricorne tray relaunch
Twentytwentyone relaunched the Robin Day Tricorne tray in June 2014.
The plywood tray (named after the three-cornered ‘tricorne’ hat), was designed in 1955 as a small cocktail tray. In 2006 Robin collaborated with twentytwentyone on a scaled-up version. This product has now been re-launched, and is shown below on the Days’ own coffee table (Lot 2 in ‘At Home with the Days’ selling exhibition and online auction).
The new website, designed by Studio Fernando Gutiérrez, presents a visual timeline of Robin and Lucienne’s work, with design history by Lesley Jackson.
It provides the definitive online resource for accurate information about Robin and Lucienne Day’s lives and design careers, as well as news about the Foundation and its licensees.
The Foundation’s Logo, designed by Studio Fernando Gutiérrez, is closely based on Robin and Lucienne’s own letterheads.
Robin and Lucienne’s contribution to John Lewis as Design Consultants from 1962–1987 is being celebrated as part of the company’s 150 Years, launched on May 1st.
All John Lewis staff are receiving a copy of A Very British Revolution: 150 Years of John Lewis, which includes a chapter on the Days.
John Lewis is launching a Lucienne Day fashion range. The fashion, inspired by garments from Lucienne’s own personal wardrobe, is made up in new productions of two of her 1954 dress fabric designs for John Lewis firm Cavendish Textiles.
A wider choice of Lucienne’s Cavendish dress fabrics in multiple colourways is also available. Three of the furnishing fabrics she designed for Cavendish in the 1970s, including a striking geometric pattern simply called ‘Lucienne’, may be purchased by the length.
The range is based on scrupulously careful research carried out in the John Lewis textile archives and the Whitworth Art Gallery by Emma Christmas, who co-ordinated the John Lewis design teams’ development work in close consultation with the Foundation.
A special screening of Design Onscreen’s documentary film Contemporary Days: The Designs of Lucienne and Robin Day was held on April 29th at The New York Museum of Modern Art, at the request of MOMA’s Curator of Historical Design. The film offers a vivid and thoughtful account of the Days’ design careers.
Design Onscreen is a Denver-based non-profit foundation dedicated to producing high-quality films on architecture and design.
Lucienne Day: In the Spirit of the Age by Andrew Casey was published by Antique Collectors’ Club Editions. The book, with a foreword by Paula Day, is lavishly illustrated with portrait photographs from the Foundation’s own archive, and full-page images of Lucienne’s work in multiple colourways.
With the growing international interest in Robin and Lucienne Day’s work, it is essential that the Foundation can ensure that their famous names are used worldwide only with products made to their actual designs. This newly registered ROBIN DAY trademark extends protection to the United States.
Classic Textiles has moved to new premises. The twelve Lucienne Day textile designs will now be printed in the Reid building, immediately opposite Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s world famous Glasgow School of Art.
Classic Textiles was set up by the Centre for Advanced Textiles, a research, education and commercial department within Glasgow School of Art, to pioneer high-quality digital productions of great 20th century textile designs. The Classic Textiles 2003 Lucienne Day range of furnishing fabrics is unique as it was developed in consultation with Lucienne herself. New state-of-the-art digital equipment has been installed in the printworks, which will allow for a much increased volume of production.
Twentytwentyone has added another design to their licensed range of Lucienne Day tea towels. Black Leaf (1959) won a Design Centre Award in 1960. The new twentytwentyone production is available in Lucienne’s yellow colourway, and, like the Thomas Somerset original, it is printed on 100% Irish linen.
An auction of those Robin Day furniture pieces and Lucienne Day silk mosaics which could not be accommodated by public collections was held at Christie's, St James, London on October 30th. Several items (including two Forum sofas, designed by Robin Day for Hille in 1964), beautifully displayed in the sale rooms alongside other highly valued works of international 20th century decorative art and design, achieved purchase bids well above the guide prices.
Robin and Lucienne Day’s last home, an historic town house just opposite Chichester cathedral, was sold to benefit the Foundation.
Furniture and furnishings used in the Days’ home and records from their office and studio were donated to a number of museums and educational institutions.
The Days’ complete art and design library
Complete interior of Robin’s ‘studio shed’
V&A Robin and Lucienne Day Archives:
All Robin Day’s technical drawings
Lucienne Day designs on paper
The Days’ press cuttings book
Magazine articles about the Days
V&A Museum Collections:
Robin Day 658 Lounge Chair
Robin Day upholstered Polypropylene Armchair
Lucienne Day Rosenthal plates
Lucienne Day table cloths and tea towels
Geffrye Museum of the Home:
Robin Day Television Chair
Cushions covered with Lucienne’s designs
Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester:
Silk mosaic Golden Tangram by Lucienne Day
Glasgow School of Art:
Silk mosaic Tangram (006) by Lucienne Day
RDI archive at The Royal Society of Arts:
Silk mosaic The Castle and Other Stories by Lucienne Day
Photographs from World of Interiors June 2011 by Antony Crolla © World of Interiors.