22nd November 2016
Midlands Modern is a celebration of mid-century products manufactured by Midlands based companies working with significant designers during the period of1930 - 1980. The showcase contains work from a number of different disciplines including lighting, glass, ceramics and furniture.
Featuring work from celebrated designers such as Lady Margaret Casson and Tibor Reich we were excited to loan examples of our Robin Day collaboration for the exhibition.
The Robin Day range of contract carpets was launched in the early 1960s within our Woodward Grosvenor brand - specifically aimed at the architect/specifier market. The collection was designed to be produced in several colourways reflecting current trends and the surface pattern design was based on a gridded matrix of abstract images. The carpets were produced using the Wilton weave process which we still use today for our Bell Twist and Velvet carpets as it makes a very hardwearing and longlasting floorcovering. Brintons Archivist, Yvonne Smith worked with the Parkside Gallery Manager, John Hall to identify key pieces from the archive for the exhibition.
Robin Day made his name in the early 1950's producing innovative designs for Hille Furniture utilising the new ‘wonder plastic’ – polypropylene. This design work contributed considerably to establishing the company’s highly successful Hille Contracts Division. His knowledge of designing for the contract design sector contributed to success in other areas too including projects with - Pye (radio, television and record-player cabinets), BOAC (aircraft interior and refreshment trays including the tableware and cutlery) and John Lewis (interiors and graphic identity).
Amongst a number of other disciplines on display, Midlands Modern highlights the contribution of the Midlands to modernist and contemporary design history, championing the midlands as a creative hub that is still just as relevant today.
Midlands Modern is open to the public at Birmingham City University's Parkside Gallery until 4th January 2017.
Image top right: Yvonne Smith, Brintons Archivist
Image bottom right: Robin Day carpet designs