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.