Monthly Archives: July 2010

Conran: A Friday Feel Good Story…

Recently hatched on a nearby balcony, four tiny ducklings jumped to pavement freedom on Wednesday morning, where one was promptly run over by the Royal Mail – bad postie.

Terence’s driver Kev was passing and seeing that the remaining three would shortly meet a similar fate, he scooped them up and got them out of harm’s way. The mother duck had oh-so-cleverly nested on a 2nd or 3rd floor balcony above a particularly busy junction of Shad Thames with no access to the water, and unfortunately she would not return to her chicks due to all the traffic, both human and vehicular. We eventually decided to take them back to the Conran office, where they sat on the riverside balcony in case she found them there.

They were a huge hit with our staff, we felt very mean not letting anyone handle them, but we didn’t want to put the mother off in case she managed to hear their peeps and came back. Sadly they weren’t reunited, but the fabulous Tim Wykeham from Conran & Partners offered to take them to Folly Wildlife Rescue (link on his way home, a charity that rescues and rehabilitates wild birds and other animals.

We are very pleased to report that all three are doing very well in their excellent care, and have now become a foursome again – a lone duckling was brought to the Rescue Centre yesterday, exhausted and bedraggled, where he or she was introduced to the Conran Three and is now fully recovered and chirpy again – result! All four ducklings are now happy and healthy in sunny Tunbridge Wells, and it looks like they’ll all make it to adulthood, which is probably better odds than they had in SE1!

If you would like to support Folly Wildlife Rescue and therefore our erstwhile Conran ducklings, please click on the link,

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Conran Phone at 22 Shad Thames

Fresh from Japan our new Conran branded mobile phones are here and hanging in our windows at the Conran Head offices in Shad Thames, just behind The Design Museum.

Red, black and sophisticated brown and cream versions hang in the window space as if floating. The miracles of fishing wire…

Wonder how the phone project developed? Check out this cute little film which shows all…

More about the phone

People loving our phone…

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Conran: Iconic Shopping Centre to be listed

So Milton Keynes Shopping Centre (brainlessly rebranded as the meaningless ‘thecentre:mk’), has finally been listed.  Hurrah!  Designed by Conran & Partners first architecture director, Stuart Mosscop, when he was at Milton Keynes Development Corporation, it is half a mile long and over 30 million people a year shop there.

Jon Wright of the 20th Century Society told The Guardian “I am absolutely thrilled, I really never thought I’d see this day…a building of international importance. I hope now the owners will wear the listing as a badge of pride.”

The centre’s director, Robert Goodman, has described it as “nondescript and characterless”, which to me suggests he’s in the wrong job.  It’s an architectural gem. A cool Miesian classic.  The owners need to learn to love it. And it can be modified and extended sympathetically – just use architects who know about retail and know about fine architecture!

Paul Zara

Paul Zara is an Architectural Director at Conran & Partners

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Conran: Studio Conran are looking for new design talent

We are on the look out for some new blood – are you up to it?

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Conran: blog from an anonymous Architect and Developer

Blog from an anonymous architect and developer

I am somewhat puzzled by David Cameron’s ideas for a new ‘Big Society’ – and I think he is too.

Does this mean that the next time we become ensnared by the bureaucracy of planners, English Heritage, lawyers and other branches of the British civil service which stop excellent projects from seeing the light of day, we simply ignore them and get on with the job – bringing employment to many thousands. Or will he still stand by the old society that still seems to be designed to see that nothing happens, beset as it is with unaffordable and frustrating delays and unreasonable requirements.

I hope he will make clear what he really means so we don’t all end up in prison.

I hope he really means to loosen the bureaucratic tight rope that is around the neck of entrepreneurial adventurers stopping many from getting on with things and making them happen in these depressing recessionary times. A lot of laws need to be abandoned or changed if this is to happen.  If people really do get on with good projects without getting the myriad of permissions required will he defend the lawbreakers to create a new society?

Let’s hope he can clarify what he really means without delay.

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Conran: Terence supports The Evening Standard’s Dispossessed Fund

On Tuesday The Evening Standard launched their £1m Dispossessed Fund encouraging Londoners to unite to tackle inequality in the capital.

The bold headlines, dramatic statistics and thought provoking stories of Londoners living lives way below the poverty line struck an immediate chord with people all over our city.

Yesterday’s front page highlighted the instant and overwhelmingly positive reaction with donations already flooding in from generous Londoners everywhere….and our Terence was among them…

London is a city that millions of us are proud to call home but, as the Standard revealed, there is a shocking side to our great capital — a desperate level of poverty that we are not always quick to recognise and acknowledge.

This inspiring campaign can be a bold step towards dramatic change. The lucky ones should do something. I will.”


Donate Here


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Conran: More about our phone

The coverage of the Conran L-04B candy bar phone keeps on coming.

Read more about it here

..if you head down to Shad Thames from tomorrow onwards you might even see a couple of them hanging around in the windows of our offices…

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Conran: Up on the roof

Next Monday the ‘Designed by Conran’ team (that is the people here at CONRAN who mastermind Conran’s collaboration with cult German cafe-retailer Tchibo) are off for a working session at Tchibo HQ in Hamburg.

The teams generally get together every few months and last time the Tchibo team came over they were taken for a very special dinner – on the first night of the Summer opening of the Boundary Rooftop bar and grill in Shoreditch.

Here’s what Maren Borkowski, Tchibo’s Marketing Manager had to say:

“The city view is fantastic and what I love is the choice: just sit relaxed on a sofa for a drink or have a proper (excellent!) dinner.

Don’t miss the “petit pot au chocolat”–girls: please share!

In  total a great concept: bar, café, restaurant, shop & rooftop–all you need for a neighbourhood location…

Dear all from CONRAN: Congratulation for this exceptional place and thank you for the great hospitality!”

Of course the months have moved on since then and the sun is shining brighter than ever (hopefully!) for the weekend but we thought we couldn’t let the week close without another recommendation for the weekend.

So it’s also the perfect venue from which to savour this weekend’s Shoreditch Festival

If you can’t be bothered to take to the streets sup a cool something on the rooftop while the sounds of classical, jazz and improv whirl their way up to you.


Shoreditch Park
London N1 6TA

16-18 July 2010, 29 July 2010

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Conran: New CONRAN products coming soon…

The team at CONRAN & COMPANY have been busy (as always!) continuing to inject a little bit of CONRAN magic into the high street.

There’s a spate of brand new product launching instore and online over the next month or so so watch this space for more info.

But in the meantime…

CONRAN Fine Bedlinen, which takes inspiration from exclusive hotels in beautiful cities throughout the world, launched last year and has been doing a roaring trade in retailers throughout the UK .

Phase 2 is due to launch early next year and the team are really busy developing stunning new designs which take inspiration from delicate homespun embroideries and sophisticated pleats.

Here’s Edinburgh – one of our bestsellers so far – with it’s smart woven insert and crisp 100% cotton at an impressive 400 thread count. All you need for the perfect sleep.

It’s available here

More about that in a few weeks…

The bedlinen range, with its premium quality, classic design and focus on longevity (remember ‘reuse rather than recycle’!) has been such a success we have also been developing tablelinen along the same lines, again, available in the next month.

Watch this space for an announcement.

Here’s a sneak preview!…

Tablelinen will be on sale from August online and in John Lewis stores up and down the country – only a few more weeks to wait…

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Conran Shop exclusive – the new Emeco 111 Navy Chair as seen at The Serpentine Pavilion

Tomorrow marks the opening of London’s Serpentine Gallery Pavilion – a yearly experiment in architecture and landscape. This year, Emeco’s new 111 Navy Chair, each made of at least 111 recycled plastic Coca-Cola bottles, has been selected for the café space of the Pavilion, designed by Jean Nouvel, the Pritzker Prize-winning architect.

We are delighted to say the chair is exclusively available in the UK at The Conran Shop!

The 111 Navy Chair is a joint venture with the Coca-Cola Company and debuted this year at the Salone de Mobile in Milan. It’s modelled after the original aluminium Emeco Navy 1006 Chair which was originally designed in 1944 for the U.S. Navy and continues to be a best seller for both Conran Contracts and The Conran Shops.

Each 111 Navy Chair contains a mix of 60 percent rPET plastic (recycled polyethylene terephthalate plastic) and a special combination of other materials including pigment and glass fiber for strength. It is estimated that more than three million PET plastic bottles will be repurposed annually for the production of 111 Navy Chairs. The chairs are available in six colours: Coca-Cola Red, Snow, Flint, Grass, Persimmon and Charcoal with red being chosen for the pavilion.

Terence is a fan too…

“The classic Emeco Navy Chair is one of my favourite chairs of all time. The fact that Emeco has worked to reproduce such a beautiful and durable version to the original design spec from recyclable materials gives me great pleasure and is a major step forward in producing sustainable, high quality design.”

And he was delighted when the Conran Contract team recently took an order for 300 of the 111 Navy Chairs for his old school which has recently undergone significant refurbishment under the direction of Conran & Partners. More about that later…

Here’s Josh Beach, Head of Conran Contracts and colleague Natasha Notara trying out the chair for size at the sponsor preview by Emeco:

Josh and Natasha at The Pavillion

“It is a fantastic showcase for this new chair – in Coca-Cola red.  Red is definitely the theme. The space is very impressive, with awnings that move changing the light, and many, many red Smeg fridges full of wine and beer and fizzy pop.

We are really pleased with the order for the School project designed by Conran and Partners”

The Conran Shop is delighted to be the exclusive retailer of the 111 Navy Chair in the UK

Check out The Serpentine Pavilion this weekend

Admission to the Pavilion is free
Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2010
by Jean Nouvel
July – October 2010

Serpentine Gallery
Kensington Gardens
London W2 3XA
T 020 7402 6075

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