Poly­side CHAIR

Living Etc - - AGENDA / SHOPPING -

De­signer Robin Day, 1963.

De­tails Polypropy­lene and steel side chair, £49, Hille at Heal’s. Back­ground Con­ceived for an egal­i­tar­ian rather than an elit­ist age, the stack­able Poly­side chair was a prod­uct of both the op­ti­mism that grew dur­ing the Six­ties in Bri­tain and the era’s new in­dus­trial tech­niques. Cost­ing just 63 shillings on its launch (£3.15 in to­day’s money), it was de­scribed by Robin Day as ‘mul­ti­pur­pose seat­ing at very low cost. Some of the uses we had in mind were cafés and can­teens, as well as lec­ture halls and assem­bly rooms’. Suc­cess proved im­me­di­ate, with mil­lions sold, de­sign awards won and the Poly­side be­ing hailed by the Ar­chi­tects’ Journal as ‘the most sig­nif­i­cant de­vel­op­ment in mass pro­duc­tion since the war’. Day died in 2010, but since then, his de­sign has been re­launched by orig­i­nal maker Hille ex­clu­sively for Heal’s. ‘There’s prob­a­bly no other chair with such an iconic sta­tus sell­ing at such a low price,’ says Day’s daugh­ter Paula. ‘This is some­thing my fa­ther pas­sion­ately be­lieved in – good de­sign ac­ces­si­ble to ev­ery­one.’ And ev­ery­one in Bri­tain has prob­a­bly sat in one of these beau­ties at least once in their life… We should do it more of­ten.

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