If you’re not familiar with Ernest Race’s iconic BA2 chair, trust us when we say, you’ll know it when you see it. Admittedly, it doesn’t have the most memorable of names, but its form is instantly recognisable – the unfussy lines of the cast aluminium frame; the curved wooden backrest; the smooth leather seat… it’s a mid-century masterpiece, and one that’s spurned copy after copy – frustrating for the designer, of course, but undoubtedly the sign of a true classic. Imitation is, after all, the sincerest form of flattery.

To celebrate the original chair’s 70th anniversary, a host of UK design talent including the likes of Tom Dixon, Lulu Guinness, Nicky Haslam and Alice Temperly, have been invited to put their own spin on the famous design in a colourful collaboration between Selfridges and The Art Room – a charity that offers art as a therapeutic intervention for kids aged five to 16.

With 90 of the chairs transformed and, one by one, suspended from the ceiling of Selfridges’ Atrium space by 19 May, this will be the department store’s largest in-house installation ever – well worth a visit for the scale alone. And if you fall in love with Sophie Conran’s creation or Charles Holland’s handiwork, you’ll have the chance to bid for it too, in an online auction commencing 22 May, with a live auction taking place on 9 June. Stuart Finlator, managing director of Race Furniture tells us: “We are thrilled to be part of this inspired collaboration which marks the 70th anniversary of our BA2 Chair. Look out for our re-launched edition following London Design festival in September 2015.” We’ll be on the edge of our seats.

Details of the auction can be found here.

Image: Race Furniture’s classic BA2 chair re-worked by Nancy Fouts, Paul Smith, Lulu Guinness and Cara Delevingne

Photography: Carl Glover