Robin and Lucienne Day are arguably post-war Britain’s most influential design partnership, a husband and wife team who led the fields of furniture and pattern design from their shared studio in London’s Chelsea for 50 years.
A new retrospective attempts to demonstrate the couple’s creative vision of how contemporary design could help to improve the lives of people after World War II.
The show, which reflects the Days as the ultimate mid-century creative couple, will feature more than 50 of Lucienne’s textiles, including her iconic Paul Klee-inspired Calyx textile design, and Robin’s Royal Festival Hall lounge, dining and orchestra chairs, as well as his multi-million-selling 1963 polypropylene chair.
Design historian Lesley Jackson is releasing a new edition of her 2001 book on the Days to coincide with the show.
She says, ’I first got to know the Days 20 years ago and it was clear to me then that they were the top dogs of British design.’
She tells of how the Days met at a Royal College of Art ball, two beautiful people equally passionate about modern design. ’That first night they talked obsessively for hours about design, barely thinking romantically at that point, despite both of them being very attractive people.’
She offers a personal insight into the Days’ relationship. ’They worked very independently, but constantly asked each others’ opinions – and would be very honest, if supportive. They really sparked off each other.’