Designer: Robin Day, 1963.
Details: Polypropylene and steel side chair, £49, Hille at Heal’s.
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.
Photography: Simon Bevan
Styling: Lucy Gough
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Lotte is the Digital Editor for Livingetc, and has been with the website since its launch. She has a background in online journalism and writing for SEO, with previous editor roles at Good Living, Good Housekeeping, Country & Townhouse, and BBC Good Food among others, as well as her own successful interiors blog. When she's not busy writing or tracking analytics, she's doing up houses, two of which have features in interior design magazines. She's just finished doing up her house in Wimbledon, and is eyeing up Bath for her next project.
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