Monthly Archives: August 2010

Conran: Terence talks to House Beautiful

Don’t miss Terence talking to Julia Goodwin from House Beautiful about the new collection for Benchmark

Find out more about the launch of this beautiful new collection at Terence’s house in the country here

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Conran: The Conran Shop USA is on Twitter!

Now it’s even easier for those of us in the UK to keep track of what’s happening at The Conran Shop stateside!

They’re on twitter!

Read more about The Conran Shop in New York

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Conran and Partners redesigns Coffee Republic…

Did you know we are designing the new look Coffee Republic stores?

Read more about it here and have a look below at what Paul Zara from Conran and Partners has to say about it…

The first of the new Coffee Republic stores has opened and it’s handily located down here on the south coast, in Hove (or Hove Actually as it’s known.  “Where do you live? Brighton, well Hove actually”).  The new concept is lighter and brighter than before and the old red and black interior has gone for good.  Its American diner look is intended to contrast with the more homespun feel of the competition and we used punchy graphics and bold photography to stand out still further.  We are rolling out the concept around the UK and maybe in the Middle East and Turkey, so look out for new stores in Tottenham Court Road, Bluewater and Doncaster over the next few months. The project has been led by the Brighton Office’s leading interior designer Nathan, ably assisted be Ellen, and they’ve done a great job on a tight budget. And we have some really nice photos by clickclickjim

If you’re in London and looking for something a bit stronger than a cappuccino this weekend…

why not try a selection of our finest British brews at The Great British Beer Festival at Earls Court.

You may well need a few coffees and a dose of bright signage after sampling some of the 500-odd ales they have there to tempt you…

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Conran: Reuse and Recycle

Walking to work this morning Holly-Anne Rolfe from Conran & Company saw an opportunity not to be missed.

Like any design company we tend to have a lot of stuff hanging around the office, and the usual 6 -12 monthly purges are always accompanied by piles of bin bags and never ending processions of people carrying cardboard boxes full to the brim down to the recycling bin.

Like any good hoarder I can’t bear throwing away anything that looks vaguely reusable and every time there’s a move or a clearout I’m laughed at as I constantly scratch around for uses for bits of old upholstery fabric, out of date branded CDs or large scale paper versions of bed linen designs now currently filling the shelves of John Lewis.

A while back through an involvement I have with the education dept at Tate Modern I was alerted to scrapstores – recycling warehouses which support the reuse of unwanted resources for the benefit of children and communities; fabulous places filled with bright rolls of unwanted paper from photoshoots, vast bags of foam, trimmings and off cuts and weird plastic things that no one seems able to identify but which make excellent additions to that cardboard box space ship or paper mache head. They all have different means of accessing their scrap materials. In some you need to pay an individual membership fee, at others you simply pay for the scrap you take on the day.

So I was delighted walking through Potters Fields on my way to work this morning to see a group of people gathering underneath a tent with ‘Scrapstores UK’ emblazoned on the side, bright bins of materials spilling out onto the grass, long, coloured hose pipes, quirky foam shapes and bits of string spiralling out as I was almost knocked over by legions of holidaying children rushing past me in shiny gold foil gladiator capes and corrugated paper crowns.

Today’s event on the grass marked the launch of the hundred odd scrapstores around the country teaming up and working together sharing knowledge, funding, opportunities, press and scrap under the banner of Scrapstores UK.

Perfect timing as I had quite a few boxes and bags worth of recyclable wares I had squirreled away from the last clear out. So down we went to Tower Bridge to donate!

Nikki DiGiovanni, the National Coordinatior of the project, was pleased to see us

‘Over 1million people are currently using scrapstores around the UK so we are always on the look out for more stuff!’

It was great to see so many people taking advantage of this great and green creative opportunity -and it was very good to get rid of all those black bin bags under the stairs…

I hope lots of other companies decide to contribute to the scheme too – it’s brilliant to see things we would throw away being reused, bringing so much pleasure and encouraging such creativity.

For info please see:

Did you know?

It’s better if possible to recycle glass separately and divide it by colour as this greatly improves the chances of it being recycled back into usable glass.

Quite often when glass is mixed or ‘polluted’ with other materials it gets reused as road surfacing which means it only gets recycled once. Recycling glass properly means more beautiful recycled glass for the future.

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Conran: Booty on Brands

“Who really wants to see the company portfolio on a hot summer’s Friday night?” I pondered as I planned my missive for a social event, ‘Glug’, I spoke at two weeks ago… Instead ‘The impossibility of imagining the future’ was my salty bar snack.

Glug organise once monthly ‘no agenda’ gatherings of designers, creatives, makers, clients and friends at a variety of locations – an unashamed after work Friday night lashing.

The narrative was how brands have to ‘kill their holy cows’ in order to stay ahead of the game and remain relevant to their consumers, (I’ve been feeling untouched by Apple of late). How to do this takes monumental creativity and rigour. How brands must remain truthful. How the to-do list needn’t stifle creativity, citing Picasso and Dumas as two vigorous list-makers. But how ‘the big idea’ doesn’t come from the to-do list. A simple and visual plot to present, or so I thought.

Arriving at the venue on the sea front I was hit by a huge sense of déjà-vu – the aromatic mix of spliff and cider. Straight back to my art foundation course in the late 80s. A dark and dingy club humming with lots of busy and interested chat it wasn’t quite the earnest powerpoint I’d anticipated. Behind the DJ decks the projector set up for abstract VJ motion wasn’t grasping focus of our collective presentations – my ‘pertinent’ slides became psychedelic mush.

The talk itself. The audience merrily chatted through our presentations, paying no attention at all. The microphone screamed with feedback and everyone else showed their company portfolio and looked glum up on stage. I was a bit baffled as to what to do, very apparent what I’d prepared was not going to get much attention, if only I had a show-stopper vaudeville up my sleeve.

The result was I was very grateful to the dozen or so of the cider crowd who stood attentively and listened to my bar rant and said kind words afterwards. What did I learn from it? The clue was in the title, ‘Glug’. I should never have practiced or performed with the gravity of sobriety but got stuck into the cider instead.

Emma Booty is Head of Branding at Studio Conran

More about GLUG

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