London Design and style Festival 2015: an exhibition designed by Turner Prize-nominated architecture collective Assemble at the V&ampA museum celebrates the heritage of late British furniture designer Robin Day.

Robin Day Works in Wood exhibition at the V&ampA

Housed in the V&ampA’s Britain 1500-1900 Galleries area, the Robin Day Functions in Wood exhibition presents mass-produced wooden objects created by Day alongside his hand-crafted items such as walking sticks, slingshots and even a birdhouse.

Robin Day Works in Wood exhibition at the V&ampA

“As a designer, I tremendously take pleasure in working in timber,” Day stated in 2001, 9 many years just before his death at the age of 95. “Not like synthetic components, it has unpredictability, an infinite selection of texture and pattern, smells very good when worked and is sympathetic to the touch – it has soul!”

Robin Day Works in Wood exhibition at the V&ampA

The exhibition spans the designer’s complete profession, with a bow that dates back to his childhood shown alongside a slingshot apparently developed whilst in his 60s. Drawings and writings are also on show, numerous of which have not been shown ahead of.

Robin Day Works in Wood exhibition at the V&ampA

It involves his recognisable pieces like the curved plywood seats developed for London’s Royal Festival Hall in 1951, and other chairs manufactured employing the very same steam-bending strategy.


Associated story: Robin and Lucienne Day’s daughter “was not ready to allow their functions to be misused”


Exhibition design and style has been supplied by London collective Assemble, which has previously produced a climbable Brutalist playground at the Royal Institute of British Architects and is the very first design studio shortlisted for the Turner Prize.

Robin Day Works in Wood exhibition at the V&ampA

The collective constructed a timber “forest” of columns of varying heights and widths to host each of the pieces. Chairs are stacked on squat wooden plinths, while an axe can be seen positioned, relatively precariously, at the top of a slender column.

Robin Day Works in Wood exhibition at the V&ampA

“Wood played a large component in Day’s life, each as a designer and in his house existence, but it is an aspect of his perform that number of people know a lot about,” mentioned the exhibition’s curator Jane Withers.

Robin Day Works in Wood exhibition at the V&ampA

“Exploring this strand via the archives and Day’s personal woodwork not only highlights how he turned wood into an expressive modern day materials but also his profound attachment to nature as a supply of inspiration as effectively as raw material, an technique that feels immensely relevant nowadays and is brought to life in Assemble’s installation,” she extra.


Relevant material: see much more stories about London Layout Festival 2015


Day’s daughter Paula Day, who founded the Robin and Lucienne Day Basis to continue her parents’ legacy, commented on he father’s enjoyment of crafting bird tables and nest boxes.

Robin Day Works in Wood exhibition at the V&ampA

“He grew up in Large Wycombe producing bows and arrows and catapults,” she mentioned. “He trained as a cabinetmaker and chairmaker in wood, and for my parents’ first property he created the dining chairs by bending plywood with steam from a kettle. All by way of his profession he loved using wood.”

Robin Day Works in Wood exhibition at the V&ampA

The exhibition is element of the city-broad Day in London style trail celebrating the centenary of the designer’s birth. In addition to a retrospective of vintage Day pieces and a seminar on his occupation, John Lewis is relaunching his 1963 polypropylene chair with an edition that restores the chair’s original stacking frame and colours.

Robin Day Works in Wood exhibition at the V&ampA

The trail will also celebrate Day’s contribution to London, which includes his seating for the Royal Festival Hall, the Barbican and London Underground.

Robin Day Works in Wood exhibition at the V&ampA

The Performs In Wood exhibition is on display right up until 27 September as component of London Design Festival 2015.

Photography is by Paola Pieroni.

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