Race, Ernest

(1913 - 1964)

Ernest Race was an English textile and furniture designer. He graduated in interior design from London’s Bartlett School of Architecture, he joined the lighting firm, Troughton & Young as a draughtsman. After visiting a weaving village in India in 1937, he returned to London and opened a shop in Knightsbridge to sell textiles and carpets. It was only after WWII that he started to design furniture. He teamed up with engineer, J.W. Noel Jordan, who believed that new manufacturing techniques could be used in the production of furniture. They started the company Ernest Race Limited (later Race Furniture). In 1945-46 they responded to the government’s call to manufacture affordable furniture from the limited list of unrestricted materials. With wood being rationed wood, they used salvaged materials, including aluminium from redundant aircraft. The result was Race's first chair, the BA3 in 1946. The design won a gold medal at the 10th Milan Trienale in 1954.