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Bucks Furniture student wins second stage of Robin Day Centenary Design Project

Photo credit: Dean Valler. Bucks New University Furniture student Madara Degtere

The last ever, BA (Hons) Contemporary Furniture show at Bucks is an outstanding standard and fitting tribute to staff and students. The tragic closure of furniture courses at Bucks New University marks the end of 110 years of educational heritage and the college's connection to the furniture industry synonymous with High Wycombe.

The Bucks Furniture student's projects can be seen at New Designers, Part 2, 06 - 09 July 2016.

In celebration of Robin Day's centenary I have collaborated with tutors Fiona Davidson and Alex Hellum to run a project for BA Hons Furniture students at Bucks New University.

To mark the end of the Robin Day Centenary Furniture Design Project, the Robin and Lucienne Day Foundation’s Chair, Paula Day joined us to review the final pieces. Paula presented winning student Madara Degtere, with an iconic Robin Day Polypropylene Chair for her work at the summative stage of the Robin Day Centenary Design Project.

Madara’s winning piece was a lounge chair inspired by Robin Day’s designs, with comfort and practicality key to the construction.

A selection of other notable pieces designed in response to the brief are shown below.

Robin Day OBE studied at Bucks New University in the 1930s when it was called High Wycombe College of Art and he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University in 2003. He would have turned 100 in 2015. His daughter, Paula Day expressed her personal thoughts:

 'It was a pleasure to see the very wide range of excellent work developed by students who participated in the Robin Day Centenary Furniture Design Project. Madara Degtere's reclining chair stood out; careful thought had gone into every aspect of the design, which was perhaps the most ambitious of all those undertaken, and the result was visually interesting and very comfortable.

The high standard of work is a tribute to the staff and students of the Buckinghamshire New University Furniture Department. I am personally deeply saddened to learn that the University has now closed the department. This is the institution which trained my father and many other leading furniture designers up to the present day. For over 100 years it has held in trust and passed on to successive generations the rich accumulated resource of furniture education experience built up in its hometown High Wycombe, formerly the heart of the British furniture industry. The tragic loss this closure represents to the wider British design industry is underlined by the outstanding quality of the work produced by students in this final year.'

Paula Day, Founder and Chair of the Robin and Lucienne Day Foundation.

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