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Chair - Q Stak

Q Stak

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    London (manufactured)

  • Date:

    1953 (designed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Day, Robin, born 1915 - died 2010 (designer)
    Hille of London Ltd. (manufacturer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Cherry-faced 7-ply plywood and tubular steel frame

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the designer

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Born in 1915, Robin Day was one of the designers who created a modern British style in the early 1950s. Like other designers of the time, he firmly believed that mass-produced furniture could be well designed and sold at affordable prices. His earliest furniture designs were notable for their new forms and for the exceptional use of new materials. Robin Day’s modernist philosophy was shared by the British company Hille, with whom he has worked consistently since 1950. Day designed the Q Stak chair in 1953 as low-cost seating for use in cafés, meeting rooms and places requiring inexpensive and strong stackable chairs. The Q Stak was extremely practical and enjoyed a long production life. It was produced in several versions so that it would appeal to as wide an audience as possible. One version was the non-stacking Q Rod with straight steel rod legs (see Museum no. Circ.239-1960).

Physical description

Chair with a one-piece seat and back of 7-ply cherry-faced plywood. There is a cut-out in the centre of the back of the chair. The chair is supported on two sets of two black tubular steel legs which are joined together and screwed to the seat. The screws go through the seat from the top to the underside and are uncovered.

Place of Origin

London (manufactured)


1953 (designed)


Day, Robin, born 1915 - died 2010 (designer)
Hille of London Ltd. (manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques

Cherry-faced 7-ply plywood and tubular steel frame


Height: 85.8 cm, Height: 42.3 cm, Width: 42.2 cm, Depth: 38.6 cm, Depth: 54 cm

Descriptive line

Q Stak chair, designed by Robin Day, manufactured by Hille Ltd, moulded cherry-faced plywood and tubular steel, London, designed 1953

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Wilk, Christopher. Plywood: A Material Story. London: Thames & Hudson / V&A, 2017

Labels and date

Text from Plywood: Material of the Modern World (15 July-12 November 2017)

Designed 1953

Robin Day designed several moulded
plywood chairs with metal frames in the
1950s. He said of the period: ‘Every
designer I knew had a picture of the
Eames chair [the DCM] pinned to their
drawing board’. The Q Stak was intended
as strong, stackable, low-cost seating
for use in public spaces like cafés and
meeting rooms.

Designed by Robin Day (1915-2010)
Manufactured by Hille Ltd
London, Britain
Moulded cherry-faced 7-ply plywood and tubular steel

Given by the designer
V&A: W.37-1992 [2017]

Designed by Robin Day (British, born 1915)
Made by Hille Ltd, London
Plywood faced with cherry, tubular steel

Robin Day designed this low cost chair for use in cafés, meeting rooms and places requiring inexpensive, strong, stackable chairs. The seat and back are formed from a single piece of plywood, the front face of which is veneered in cherry, An earlier version with steel rod rather than tubular steel legs was less successful commercially.

Given by Robin Day
W.37-1992 [1992-2006]

Production Note

It is not known whether this chair was made in 1953 or is a later edition.


Plywood; Cherrywood; Tubular steel






Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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