Iconic Wycombe furniture designer dies

INFLUENTIAL High Wycombe-born furniture designer Robin Day OBE has died aged 95.

Mr Day, who made a host of iconic pieces of furniture, including being credited for designing the first moulded plastic chair, died at his home on November 9.

The Polyprop chair was hailed as the “most significant development in British mass-produced chair design since the war" and featured on a Royal Mail stamp last year.

Mr Day, born in Wycombe in May 1915, studied at the High Wycombe Technical Institute and won a scholarship to High Wycombe School of Art.

He then joined the Royal College of Art in London after spurring offers from Lucian Ercolani to join Ercol, which he would eventually go on to design for in 2003.

After RCA, Mr Day went on to teach at Beckenham School of Art, where he met Clive Latimer – the duo went on to win the International Competition for Low-Cost Furniture at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1948.

This proved to be the springboard for his career, gaining his first major commission, to design seating for London's Royal Festival Hall.

He also won the gold medal at the Milan Triennale awards and, with design partner and wife Lucienne Day, went on to adorn countless magazine spreads and advertising campaigns in the 1950s.

He was appointed an OBE in 1983 and awarded an honorary doctorate from Buckinghamshire New University in 2003. Lucienne died in January aged 93.

Established High Wycombe furniture maker Stewart Linford said: “It's sad. I didn't know him personally but he was hugely respected and a good speaker.

“He is iconic in the world of furniture design – such as the Polyprop chair – that was his designs and it continues to sell in the millions every year. He is a loss.”

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