Text copyright
© Lesley Jackson and Paula Day 2014

Robin Day

Of all Robin’s designs, the one that has made the greatest impact is the Polypropylene Chair. The first chair to harness the potential of injection-moulded polypropylene, its one-piece seat is subtly sculptural, as well as light, strong, durable and cheap. The plastic shell has ingenious features such as integrally moulded casings for self-tapping screws for attaching the legs to the seat. Multi-functionalism and economy are central to the continuing success of this remarkable design.

Robin’s other furniture became increasingly architectural in character during the 1960s. His desks and settees took on crisp rectilinear structures, their square section tubular steel frames complementing the geometry of modern buildings. Robin’s radio and television designs for Pye adopted a similar aesthetic on a smaller scale.

Always adaptable, Robin also created robust elegant designs in wood, notably in his furniture for Churchill College, Cambridge in 1964, one of the most important new university buildings of the decade.

Robin Day, with assistant making plaster pattern of Polypropylene tub chair, 1960
©Robin & Lucienne Day Foundation/photo: Tony Mann