Robin Day's 675 chair given modern makeovers for fundraising auction
Fifteen leading textile designers have created their own interpretation of Robin Day's iconic 675 chair, which will be auctioned in aid of the Robin and Lucienne Day Foundation.
The designers were invited to customise the chair as part of a project called A Day to Remember, organised by producer Case Furniture in partnership with retailer Heal's and the Robin and Lucienne Day Foundation.
The 15 chairs will be exhibited at Heal's on London's Tottenham Court Road from today before being auctioned online between 1 and 21 August 2019.
All proceeds from the auction will go to the foundation, which promotes the legacies of designers Robin and Lucienne Day. The charity also supports design education through an awards programme, educational projects and a digital design archive.
Several of the contributors, including David Irwin and Eleanor Pritchard, have previously designed products for British brand Case Furniture, which began reproducing the 675 Chair in 2014.
Paula Day, who heads the foundation set up in the name of her parents, spoke to Dezeen at the launch of the new 675 chair, and explained the importance of protecting their designs from counterfeiters.
The chair, which was originally created in 1952 and is considered a classic example of midcentury design, features a curved walnut-veneered plywood back with integrated armrests.
Most of the designers who contributed to the charity project chose to upholster the chair's seat in a fabric that reflects their signature style or was developed to complement the product's features.
The only designer to adopt a different approach is Bill Amberg, who used his studio's expertise in bespoke leather products to emphasise the relationship between the chair's backrest and seat by covering them both in hand-stitched leather.
Textile designer and artist Margo Selby created a fabric informed by Lucienne Day's silk mosaics.
Day's iconic fabric designs were celebrated on the centenary of her birth in 2017 when department store John Lewis released a range of textiles featuring patterns from her archives.
Lucienne Day's compositions of geometric forms and linear elements also influenced the woven fabric created for the seat by Wallace Sewell, which is based on the London textile design studio's signature pinstripe throw collection.
As part of the exhibition, designer David Irwin is presenting his first range of textiles developed in collaboration with Bute Fabrics.
The fabric chose for the 675 chair is part of the new collection, which celebrates the connection between people and machine production by basing the pattern on the fingerprints of members of the company's production staff.
Other participants in the project include: Donna Wilson, Charlene Mullen, Cristian Zuzunaga, Wallace Sewell, Eley Kishimoto, Hannah Waldron, Beatrice Larkin, Catherine MacGruer, Darkroom, Stitch by Stitch, and Christopher Farr.
Robin Day is one of Britain's most revered furniture designers, and was behind several products that have achieved iconic status since they were created in the mid 20th-century.
His 1960s stackable Polyside chair was relaunched by John Lewis in 2015 to mark the centenary of his birth year.
The same year, Turner Prize-winning architecture collective Assemble designed an exhibition at London's V&A museum that presented a selection of his mass-manufactured wooden objects.