Monthly Archives: December 2010

Conran: Deck the halls!

Not got your decorations up yet?

Need some more inspiration?

Check out what The Conran Shop have in store to tempt you on The Conran Shop blog

It’s not too late to go and peruse…both London stores are open until 8pm this Thursday 23rd…..

Check out The Conran Shop for more info…

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Conran: Design a great 2011!

With Christmas just around the corner we thought we would tell you a little bit more about how our fabulous Conran Christmas card 2010 came into being.

Santi Tonsukha from Studio Conran explains…

First up was Brainstorming  – a truly collaborative process. Studio Conran staff – and a few others from around the Conran Group – spent an hour coming up with tons of ideas. Some are whimsical. Some are fun and exciting. Some are outrageous and over the top.

We then picked three that we thought could be achieved within the time frame and budget that we had.

The Pencil

The Conran world is a creative one. We thought the pencil is a great representation of who we are. Even with today’s technologies, pencil and paper are the starting tools for designers.

Also, in today’s economy, a gift that is not wasteful seems appropriate.

We started thinking about what kind of pencils we would like to give away. Coloured pencil? Round? Hexagonal? One thing we knew from the beginning is that we wanted to incorporate the Conran blue in some way. In the end we picked a blue one that was made of recycled CD cases.


We explored different materials and decided to use corrugated cardboard for packaging. What’s not to like about recycled corrugated cardboard? It’s lightweight. Protective. Affordable and Environmental-friendly.

The motif on the cardboard is inspired by grid paper that designers/architects often use. The plus shape also goes well with our positive message “Design a great 2011”

In short, we think it is a perfect little Christmas/New year gift from Conran that is thoughtful, fun, and reflects the company’s philosophy. We hope you agree….

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Conran: A poster to celebrate 100 years of Michelin House

To mark the 100th birthday of London’s iconic Michelin House in Fulham Road, Terence and Bibendum restaurant wanted to do something a little different.

The result was a competition to find the crème de la crème of talent to design a celebratory, commemorative poster – and who better to ask than students from the Royal College of Art’s Communication Art and Design department

The winning entry would hang in Bibendum restaurant, which sits in the building, alongside its noted collection of famous original Michelin tyre advertising posters.

The three man judging panel – who had to make the tough decision – consisted of leading figures from the design world including Michael Wolff, Stephen Bayley and of course the master of Michelin, Terence himself.

The winner was 24-year-old first year student Marta Dlugolecka who wowed the judges with a celebratory “Bowler Hat” image.

Her poster will now go on permanent display in Bibendum restaurant and be available for sale from January in The Conran Shop, also located within the iconic Michelin Building.

It was clearly Terence’s favourite….

I loved Marta’s poster and it will sit perfectly alongside the other stunning Michelin posters we have in Bibendum. She has managed to capture the charm, fun and wit that to me is everything Michelin and our beautiful building stand for. It is simple and gets straight to the point, which is not as easy as it looks.

The quality of the posters submitted was outstanding, and it was very interesting talking to the students about the inspiration behind their posters. The talent on display demonstrates precisely why we should be nurturing and promoting our young talent, not stifling it. The creativity and innovation of our young designers and artists makes a huge and important contribution to the economy – and future – of this country.

Marta said : “I am just so happy they noticed my poster because the standard of the other entries was really high. Before I began designing the poster I went to look at the building which is so beautiful and not like other buildings you see. I wanted to capture the quirkiness of it in my poster whilst at the same time giving it a real feeling of energy and celebration.”

Runners up were Rachel Lillie and Patric Sandri.

Why does Terence love Michelin so much?

More about Michelin House….

From January 10th 2011 a week of celebrations commemorating Michelin House’s 100th birthday will begin.


Filed under Conran and London, TERENCE CONRAN

Conran: All about Terence

Read all about Terence from his time at Habitat to how he gets over designer’s block , his inspiration and his favourite things in this all encompassing interview on the Achica living blog.

As the editor Emily Peck told us – ‘he’s just so interesting from beginning to end….’

ACHICA Living brings you home and lifestyle inspiration from free-to-join online members-only shopping club

Keep your eyes peeled for fabulous offers coming up on Conran products on Achica in the next few weeks – including some of our design-led bedlinen Bed by Conran and premium Conran Fine Tablelinen.

Click here to read the full interview

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Conran: Happy Birthday Brighton!

Happy Birthday Conran & Partners Brighton Office!

So three years on and what have they been up to? Well, let’s start at the beginning….

The office was set up back in 2007 to accommodate the expanding team from London and soak up some of the creative talent down in Brighton. Paul Zara and Lee Davies have been leading the charge ever since.

So, with the early pioneers; Dan Weston, David McDonald, Nathan Zaver and Paul Fender, the team now stands at 20 and appears to be growing on a regular basis! Of course Terence likes to pop down now and again and check that they are all working hard:


Despite the fact that it is still a very tough market the Brighton office has managed to keep the creative fun atmosphere (Paul’s jokes aside) and have been commissioned on some great projects from a broad range of clients and sectors. Here are just a few things that have been keeping them busy:

Winning planning consent for 700+ homes at Green Man Lane Estate in West Ealing

Recently submitted planning applications for the greenest office building in Brighton and a prominent residential and hotel development in Weston Super Mare.

They also have a number of exciting projects on their drawing boards including the redevelopment of Walthamstow Stadium project and an apart-hotel and new public square in the centre of Brighton. As well as a having a number of projects on site, including a private residence on the beach in Hove they are also playing an instrumental role in the save the Saltdean Lido campaign.

So in short, the Brighton office is 3 years old and going strong.

More about those projects in the next few weeks…

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Conran: Spotlight on the 3D visualisation team

Our 3D visualisation team form a key part of the Conran & Partners design team, assisting both the architects and the interior designers throughout the design process.

We think all the designers would agree that the 3D models are invaluable as they help inform and develop the design from the earliest stages.

The work comes in all shapes and sizes including simple massing studies, hidden-line renders, hand sketching and full high resolution images.

A full 'high resolution' rendering helps bring Conran & Partners idea for the new Riga Airport to life

A 'hidden line render'

The aim, says our Head of 3D Francesco Nicolardi,“Is to deliver the appropriate answer to all the different questions that the design team are continually throwing at us!”

An example of a 'massing model'


A photo montage ilustrates how a Conran & Partners designed Queens Wharf in Hammersmith might have looked

Francesco joined Conran & Partners in 2007. He is a registered Architect with more than 8 years of experience in interior design and exterior architectural visualisation and while at C&P has worked on a huge variety of projects based in London, Sheffield, Hong Kong and Tokyo.

Daniel Gill joined the 3D team earlier this year after studying illustration at Falmouth College of Arts.

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Conran: A lunch to launch the Conran iPod dock

Last Friday the festive season came early as the latest in our CONRAN branded products was officially unveiled to the press. Our partners in this project, Armour Home, really know how to throw a good party.

A CONRAN AUDIO iPod dock in one of the bedrooms at Boundary

A few of the Conran team, along with a vast number of journalists from Technological and Lifestyle titles alike converged on Boundary Restaurant for a wonderful meal and some very spirited quiz answering. Someone really should stop Glenn McClelland, the Armour Group MD from giving away all the answers. Still, our team wasnt complaining.

Glenn toasting the press

Despite all the jolliness the event of course had a serious side – to showcase some great new products – amoung them the Conran iPod dock – the first product in the Conran Audio range. Everyone seemed very impressed.

It was also a great opportunity for Terence to present an award to Santiago Haboud, winner of the Tivoli Audio Prize.

The prize relates to a worldwide design competition to produce a design to celebrate Tivoli Audio’s tenth anniversary and new ‘Model 10′ DAB Radio. The overall winner receives not only a cash prize but also has their winning design displayed on a giant billboard in New York’s Times Square throughout December 2010, including the world famous New Year’s Eve celebrations.

The competition received many thousands of entries from all around the world and Santiago came 1st out of the UK entries and was placed 3rd worldwide.
Terence was happy to take the microphone and congratulate him for his idea ‘Crayons’ which he called ‘Charming, clever and full of fun’

They will be meeting again in June at the graduation ceremony for the Royal College of Art, where Santiago studies and where Terence, always a huge supporter of education in design, is currently Provost.


Filed under Conran & Company, Conran and London, THE CONRAN SHOP

Conran: Brought to you by the Letter B…

Tips on typography today from Bruno Maag, via Orla McAvinue – a Graphic Designer at Studio Conran…

Last Friday, Bruno Maag provided us with an energetic, fact-filled talk, on a topic close to all our hearts in Studio Conran.

It has been well documented that Bruno is not so fond of (whisper it…) Helvetica – boring, retro, lazy – but what of his masterplan to avoid it’s continued world domination?

Showing recent projects and collaborations, and spurred on by questions from the crowd, we gleaned nuggets of information to make the world a better place courtesy of thoughtful, lovingly created typography.

1. Never use Helvetica – learn to expand your repertoire. If you need a sans serif – use Univers – an infinitely superior creation.

2. Minus kerning? Absolutely not. Give type room to breathe!

3. When designing a typeface, start with the roman weight which determines the proportions for the whole font family.

4. Serif type always trumps a sans.

5. Type is not a mathematical equation – be aware of the grid, but also that the letterforms are living, breathing creatures.

6. The more typefaces the merrier. The world would be a boring place without them.

7. Understand the language you are designing for and the end user. It is crucial to be aware of the ebb and flow of sentences, in order to properly construct the individual letterforms and predetermine spacing. Is the typeface for body copy or headline? Will it be used to create airport signage or a logo?

8. Have fun – inject character, bring the brand to life!

9. And finally, be aware of intellectual property – make it your business to be up to speed on usage rights.

This was Bruno’s first visit to Conran, and the third time I personally been lucky enough to hear him speak. As always, it is impossible not to get swept along with his obvious passion and knowledge for all things type. Now all we need is a reason to commission one of his beautiful creations. Calling all clients…

Visit to appreciate the full spectrum of Dalton Maag’s work.

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Conran: What’s happening in Walthamstow

Back in August (remember being warm?!) we announced the exciting news that Conran and Partners was to lead the redevelopment of the iconic Walthamstow Stadium.

(Click here to read)

Well, this week the first draft plans have been unveiled. Paul Zara Director at Conran & Partners has lead the charge.

With the redevelopment of the former Walthamstow Stadium, we are aiming to meet the significant housing needs of the area, whilst at the same time creating a safe, sustainable and enjoyable living environment for future communities.

Read more about it

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Conran: Endeavour to be better by design…

An excellent article by Lou Cooper in Marketing Week today talks about how brands are using design to set them apart from the competition.

In it our very own CEO Roger Mavity explains that design is not just about making things look good, but about adding value for consumers..

We try to design things in a way that radiates our basic belief that intelligent design improves quality of life. It doesn’t make a difference if it’s a well-designed store or building, it’s the fact that the design is intelligent, sensitive and creative. If that gives functionality to the user, then it’s good design, and that’s what we believe in

A prime example of that is our Boundary project in Shoreditch, designed by Conran & Partners - it’s a converted Victorian warehouse which houses three restaurants and bars, 12 hotel rooms and a bakery. As always our aim has been to make each project functional, yet exciting.

Albion Caff where cutlery sits in old syrup tins and the stools have old tractor seats

Boundary Restuarant where you can see the chefs at work and marvel at original artworks and objects from Terence's collections...


Boundary Project


Click to read the article in full

Like the cross-section image? Find out more about out our fabulous 3D visualisation team next week when they’ll be showing us more of what they can do…

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Filed under CEO Speaks: Roger Mavity, Conran & Partners, Conran and London, Conran and Restaurants