Design is a constantly evolving subject with pieces often a representation of the time period that they were conceived in.
However what makes a piece iconic is when the design lives on years after its conceptualisation, blending effortlessly in any period.
The Design Guild Mark recognises excellence in British design, although nowhere does it say that the piece has be ‘new’.
Over the past few years we have begun to see an increasing number of ‘timeless classics’ being put forward for the Design Guild Mark and this is something we welcome.
Here are six of our favourite legendary pieces that have been awarded a Design Guild Mark.
The Antelope Chair by Ernest Race
The Antelope Chair was first designed in 1951 for the ‘Festival of Britian’. It was selected as the chair for the Festival site during the event. Gordon Russell, chair of the selection judges, believed Race’s designs to be ‘miles ahead’ of his contemporaries. The Antelope Chair also won a silver medal at the Tenth Trienalle furniture fair in Milan.
Multidrawer by Freddie Brown
The rapid growth of colourful plastic letter trays through the 50s and 60s became the inspiration for the original Multidrawer. Freddie Brown thought that he could produce something that achieved the same storage capability but was more durable. His design was subsequently adopted by Ryman Conran which added them to their ‘Colourways’ product portfolio.
Poly Side Chair by Robin Day
The Poly Side Chair is a classroom classic and was a worldwide success from the moment it launched in 1963. It has sold hundreds of thousands of units over the years. The chair has since been relaunched featuring the original P5 frame and is available in a range of colours.
675 Chair by Robin Day
The 675 chair is one of the most recognised of the 20th Century and a design that has really stood the test of time. The chair’s most prominent feature is its curved walnut-veneered plywood back. Day overcame the difficulty of forming a single moulded plywood chair by creating a fluid shape using a singular curve.
T1 Chair by Rodney Kinsman
The Bauhaus inspired T1 Chair was designed in 1967 and selected by Sir Terence Conran for his Habitat store. The chair quickly became one of Habitat’s most popular models. The frame is made from chrome-plated tubular steel. Meanwhile the sling is handmade in Italy from coach hide leather.
Poly Armchair by Robin Day
The Polypropylene Armchair was designed by Robin Day following the international success of the Poly Side Chair. He wanted to create a chair that would offer greater comfort in situations such as public waiting areas. The chair’s shell is strengthened by ribs on the underside and likewise by its rolled edges.