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Bird table made by Robin Day
 

 

Robin Day Works in Wood, V&A Museum, 2015

We were invited by the Robin and Lucienne Day Foundation to curate an exhibition celebrating Robin Day’s centenary. Seeking to move beyond the familiar trope of Day as designer of the polyprop chair and give a fresh perspective on his legacy, we focussed on Day’s little explored but deep-rooted feeling for wood. The exhibition juxtaposed his finely tuned industrial designs with handmade objects made for his personal use that are characterised by a rudimentary directness, ingenuity and playfulness and had not been exhibited before. Architectural practice Assemble juxtaposed these elements in an installation inspired by the forest where Day grew up. The exhibition included Day’s drawings and writings to give a deeper understanding of his poetic attachment to nature. 

Photography Paola Pieroni

Inspired by Day’s childhood, the installation suggested a link between play and innovation
 

 

Day’s early experiments bending plywood with steam from a kettle juxtaposed with a Q Rod chair
 

 

The installation mixed Day’s handwork and industrial production
 

 

The Royal Festival Hall chair beside a catapult illustrated Day's complex relationship with wood
 

 
 
 
 
 

An archive table included photos, sketches and texts gave insight into Day’s feeling for wood