Lesley Jackson- Robin and Lucienne Day

This part of the designing the decades study day was so interesting. I could easily right all day about the Days! The days met whilst studying at the RCA in 1940 and and the coupled married in 1942 spending the rest of their lives together. The days were both pioneers in their field, Lucienne in textiles and robin in Furniture. Throughout their lives there was a sense of design semblance between their work. Often you see similar forms appearing in their work around the same time.

Here are just a few of my favourite examples!

Lucienne worked with Heals for over 20 years and these are some of her best known designs. She was often inspired by florals and the natural world (such as plankton)

Robin Day designed a large amount of furniture for festival hall and the pavilions at the festival of Britain. Here is one of his iconic armchairs. I think it almost looks like it is going to take off!

Like many other furniture designed of the period he often designed pieces with lots of open space, using the minimal amount of materials possible. Apparently these chairs are very comfortable.

and flickr

David Heathcote- Architecture

The second talk of the designing the decades series was by David Heathcote. He spoke about architecture post war and it gave mea whole new appreciation for a style i once though ugly. For architects the 50s was all about stepping away from previous ideas, gone was the ornamentation of the Victorian period, looking forward using new materials and new shapes and trying to give peple the open space and light they desired. A lot of architecture was about bringing the outside in and vice versa with areas such as courtyards. When you look at building such as the Barbican you can really see where these ideas were going (note the way it is built on stilts and the curvilinear forms)


Designing the decades @ the V & A

On Saturday i went to the V & A for a study day about the 1950s. It was one of THE most interesting days imaginable, and it realy broadened my interest too.

The first speaker was Lily Crowther from the V & A research department. She was talking about the Festival of Britain, something that i am so fascinated by. The design style for the Festival was so forward thinking and whimsical, so completely different to what had come before. It really gave me an appreciation for Festival Hall, which i had always thought of as an ugly building, but once i really got to know about the different design features and realised how different it was to what had come before i suddenly gained a new appreciation for it!. See my pic, front cover from a may 1951 issue of Illustrated magazine.
It was particularly interesting to find out about the log design. The patriotic colours combined with the bunting and the connections with the great British tradition of the village fete, but on a much larger scale.
Also fascinating was seeing the pictures from the Battersea Pleasure garden. You can definitely see where Disney took inspiration from!

More on the other speakers to come!

Image from http://www.packer34.freeserve.co.uk/evenmore.htm. Check out this website for even more great pics.