Jane Dillon, designer: papers

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Project files (1962 - 2007); prototypes and products (1968 - 2005); publications (1970 - 1983); technical drawings (1966 - 1999); rolled drawings (1970 - 2000); transparencies and photographs (1968 - 1998); personal correspondence, sketchbook and other materials (1965 - 2000).

Administrative / Biographical History

Jane Dillon, nee Mary Jane Young (1943-) was born in Manchester, U.K. Between 1961 and 1965 she studied interior design at Manchester College of Art and Design and attended the Royal College of Art (RCA) in London from 1965 to 1968. An outstanding student, she left with an M Des in Furniture Design and shortly after graduating found her way to the Olivetti design studio in Milan. In 1969, it was headed by renowned Italian designer, Ettore Sottsass and he asked the young designer to work mainly on colour studies for a line of office furniture and on several chair designs.

By 1972 she had returned to London and formed a romantic and creative collaboration with the talented designer and fellow furniture design student at the RCA, Charles Dillon. The couple were married that same year and their company Studio Dillon quickly received commissions for both office and domestic furniture particularly in the UK and in Spain for manufacturers such as Habitat and Conran Associates (London) and Casas, (Barcelona). They created several iconic designs of the period including the Cometa lamp and the Actis and Jobber office chairs. After the death of Charles Dillon in 1982, Jane continued as head of the studio working with a range of private clients, companies and institutions such as Habitat, Perobell, Herman Miller, the Science Museum and Shakespeare's Globe Theatre on domestic, office and garden furniture. In 1998 she began a long collaboration with designer Tom Grieves who was made a partner in 2003. They opened a new studio in Girona Spain with Roger Bateman, known as Bateman Dillon Grieves and also collaborated with Floris Van Den Broecke. From 2000 onwards, Dillon and Grieves' projects have included designs for glass for Salviati, designs for chairs for Lloyd Loom of Spalding as well as forays into cutlery design.

Jane Dillon has been a tutor in the Design Products department at the Royal College of Art and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts (F.R.S.A.) Her work has been widely exhibited and published and is held in major European collections.

Conditions Governing Access

This archive collection is available for consultation in the V&A Blythe House Archive and Library Study Room by appointment only. Full details of access arrangements may be found here: http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/a/archives/.

Access to some of the material may be restricted. These are noted in the catalogue where relevant.

Acquisition Information

Given by Jane Dillon, 2009.

Conditions Governing Use

Information on copying and commercial reproduction may be found here: http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/a/archives/.

Corporate Names