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Contemporary Design with a Philosophy

The Unmatched Iconic Status of Toogood's Designs in the 21st Century

Image from Driade

In the ever-evolving world of 21st-century design, new shapes, materials, and processes proliferate with unprecedented speed and accessibility. Dynamic agencies, innovative brands, and creative individuals are gaining prominence through social media, reaching broader audiences and forging new communities. Yet, amidst this vibrant landscape, one object stands out as a beacon of contemporary design: the Roly Poly Chair. Whether featured in the glossy pages of design magazines, showcased in the sophisticated ambiance of boutique showrooms, or unexpectedly encountered on urban street cornersthe Roly Poly Chair commands attention. Its magnetic presence is defined by graceful curves, understated elegance, and a palette of vibrant hues. At a glance, its bowl-shaped seating, rounded and welcoming, with simple cylindrical legs, exudes a sculpture-like feel in any space it resides in—transcending mere functionality to become a symbol of artistic innovation. At the heart of its creation is Faye Toogood, a British designer whose visionary artistry imbues each curve with a sense of wonder and delight.

But who is Faye Toogood? For those outside the design world, a quick search for a "curved pink chair with cylindrical legs" will likely lead to the Roly Poly Chair, accompanied by numerous imitations from around the globe. This situation underscores a paradox in the design industry: being an established designer often means seeing one's creations replicated. Faye's creative reach extends beyond furniture and objects; her work spans from homeware, fashion (co-founded by her sister, Erica Toogood), and interior to space design.

The Diver Short / Fine Ripstop Cotton Icing / I mage from Toogood
Dough Ceramics / Image from Toogood
Mulberry Shop at Regent Street /  Image from Toogood
Faye's Concept Store for Selfridges /  Image from Toogood
Hermès flagship store in the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré / Image from Toogood

What Makes Her Design "Too Good"?

Faye's design journey began with a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from the University of Bristol, followed by eight years as an Interiors Editor at The World of Interiors. She describes herself as an outsider whose work defies categorization, and her studio embodies this philosophy, fostering a fluid movement between genres. Toogood’s design ethos is deeply rooted in her appreciation for natural forms and materials, often drawing inspiration from the organic world. Her creative process marries artistic intuition with rigorous experimentation, producing work that is both innovative and evocative. Influenced by her background in fine arts and her editorial styling experience, Toogood challenges traditional boundaries and redefines the relationship between art and utility. Her ability to transform everyday objects into poetic, sculptural pieces demonstrates why her designs are celebrated for being not just too good, but exceptional.

Gummy Chair / Image from Toogood
Puffy Lounge Chair & Ottoman / Image from Toogood
Take a look at her Gummy Chair and the Puffy Lounge Chair. The Gummy Chair is a fully upholstered piece with anthropomorphic proportions inviting a sense of comfort and playfulness. In contrast, the Puffy Lounge Chair demonstrates a form that spills freely over the sides of a tubular steel frame, juxtaposing its soft, flowing upholstery with the hard, defined lines of the frame. The common thread in Toogood’s furniture designs is her ability to merge form and function while challenging conventional aesthetics. Each piece is a testament to her innovative approach, seamlessly blending the whimsical with the practical, and the organic with the structured. Her work consistently evokes a tactile, emotional response, inviting users to engage with the furniture on a deeper, more personal level.
The Tinker Shirt and The Tinker Dress / Image from Toogood

Consistent Creative Identity Across Disciplines Sets Her Apart

Her clothing, the Tinker Shirt and The Tinker Dress exemplify Toogood's distinctive approach to clothing design, echoing the same attention to detail and innovative use of form seen in her furniture pieces. Both garments are limited editions, characterized by their noticeable, detail-oriented construction and unconventional patterns. The Tinker Shirt, crafted from lightweight textured cotton, is individually hand-painted with a bold blue tin stripe, while the Tinker Dress boasts a bright neon pink stripe.

In both her furniture and clothing designs, Toogood demonstrates a consistent commitment to pushing boundaries and challenging conventions, creating pieces that are not only visually striking but also imbued with a sense of artistic innovation and individuality. Today, Faye Toogood emerges as a luminary in the world of contemporary design, transcending the boundaries of traditional disciplines to create a cohesive and visionary body of work. From the iconic Roly Poly Chair to her innovative clothing designs, Toogood's creations captivate with their blend of artistry and functionality. Through her commitment to pushing boundaries and challenging conventions, she has established herself as a trailblazer whose influence extends far beyond the confines of the design world. With an unwavering dedication to excellence and a keen eye for detail, Toogood continues to shape the future of design, leaving an indelible mark on the landscape of creativity. As we look to the horizon of design innovation, one thing remains clear: Faye Toogood's legacy is destined to endure, inspiring generations to come.