ROBIN AND LUCIENNE DAY
PEOPLEText: Karl and Yasmeen
If you are living in London, you are somewhat unconscious of all the design surrounding you. London is like an ongoing live exhibition, especially in public spaces. Perhaps unaware you might be sitting waiting comfortably in a chair probably designed by one of Britain’s most successful and influential designers, Robin Day.
Toro seating, Robin Day, on platform at Monument Underground Station, 1990, Photo: DDP Studios, Hemel Hempstead © Robin and Lucienne Day Foundation
The other day we went to see an exhibition featuring work by Robin and Lucienne Day at the Barbican Art Gallery. The Day’s are one of the most exciting couple we have come across, now in their 80s they are still running the show. The Day’s were unknown to us only three months ago, when unaware we bought two of Robin Day’s chairs in an English interior shop called HABITAT, but now it seems like we are one of their biggest fans. They have almost become our role models.
Lucienne Day with cairn terrier Megan, 1990s, Photo: John Haddock © Robin & Lucienne Day Foundation
The Day’s are a extraordinary couple, commercially successful working under the same discipline for over fifty years. It seems like they never really got too excited by trends, so troughout their careers you can easily spot their aims. Of course they are influenced but their influence is stronger. It is easy to imagine that they live in their own world, but surely they are not. They are living in the same world as us but they are creating another world. Their output relate much to what is interested for them, how a leaf is shaped or how long time you have to wait for the Underground.
Series E Polypropylene Chairs in a classroom, Robin Day, 1971 © Robin & Lucienne Day Foundation
Robin Day’s work seems to be everywhere all the time, at Underground stations, classrooms and concert halls, but sometimes it is difficult to notice. Because he has designed furniture we often take for granted, they are practical, comfortable and inexpensive, their designs look simple but in truth are very complicated. Lucienne have done the same for textiles, creating designs which are colourful, semi-abstract and graphical. Together and apart their design transforms spaces into something modern and bright, confident, forwardlooking and contemporary. The shapes and material of Robin’s furniture have a great understanding of its needs. The natural movement of coulour and life is reflected in Lucienne’s printed fabrics.
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