Time Traveler: The resurgence of Tibor Reich & his love for transport interior design

Image result for tibor reich vauxhall car interiorThe current resurgence of mid-century design has highlighted the work of one of its major creative pioneers, Tibor Reich. During the latter half of the C20th, Reich revolutionized surface pattern design and was instrumental in developing many cutting edge design techniques that are still relevant today.

During his career Tibor worked across many design disciplines including textile, floor coverings, wall coverings and ceramics and gained much notoriety as a designer of specialty fabrics for many prestigious transport applications. During the 1950s Tibor designed fabric for a number of cruise ships including the SS Empress of Britain, the SS Olympia, P&O’s Arcadia and Cunard’s Queen Mary. He also designed fabrics for the Royal yacht Britannia. In 1956 he designed fabric for Mexican Airways and in 1966 Tibor Ltd won the contract for fitting out the first Concorde with upholstery, curtain fabrics and carpet. Tibor’s transport interests continued with projects for BOAC, Conair and Hawker Sidley aviation and even creating fabric for the interior of Vauxhall cars.

Woven Jacquard, commissioned by Mexican Airways, the design was based on an abstracted cactus plant
Concorde Interior, 1966

In 2016, 20 years after Tibor’s death his designs are being relaunched as both fabrics and flooring. Fabrics, with the resurrection of the Tibor brand management by his grandson Sam Reich and flooring, via a collaboration with Forbo Flooring Systems. This latest collaboration shows the versatility of his work and how timeless many of his ideas are. The collection showcases eight of Tibor’s designs, from designs that have been never been seen to classic statement pieces, the range highlights the pioneering genius of Tibor.

Tibor was a prolific creator and has left extensive archival material some of which is housed at the V&A and in the University of Leeds textile archive. The family also have a significant record of his work and it was from this that Forbo were able to develop a number of design concepts.


In developing the collection Forbo have selected a group of patterns that really capture the spirit of Tibor and as such the collection is fresh and modern but with a distinct mid-century feel.

It has real versatility and offers interesting and exciting design possibilities for transport applications, including rail an area that Tibor never managed to design for in his lifetime but with this collection and the possibility of using the archive…there is still time!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s