Born on 5th January 1917, one of my favourite designers, Lucienne Day, would have been 100 year old last Friday.
She was one of 20th century Britain's most influential textile designers playing a pivotal role in the influence of design from the Festival of Britain onwards. Best known for her fabric design Calyx she took inspiration and motifs from nature and transformed them into something totally new and exciting, giving out a message of hope and regrowth to a post war Britain.
Day was also influenced by abstract painters such as Miró, Kandinsky and Klee and, as mentioned in the short film below, it made her happy to think that everyone could now have something in this style in their homes even was a pair of abstract patterned curtains rather than a painting. Making the link between mass production, fine art, affordability and good design Day's fabrics were often printed in long runs which helped keep the cost down. Her husband Robin also made furniture in a similar way, using cheaper materials to produce his furniture at a lower cost.
With a wide range of geometric, hand drawn and more painterly pattern design and a brilliant understanding and use of colour Lucienne Day is one a handful of designers I always go to when I'm feeling uninspired or stuck.
The Robin and Lucienne Day Foundation has launched a programme of exhibitions and events to mark the centenary of such a prolific, progressive and influential designer on what would have been Lucienne’s 100th birthday. I can't wait to see the retrospective exhibition at the Glasgow School of Art in September later this year, Check out the Lucienne Day 100 website (link above) to find what is happening near you.