Category Archives: TERENCE CONRAN

The Design Museum breaks new ground

“This is one of the best days of my long life.” So said Terence Conran at the ground breaking ceremony for the new home of the Design Museum at the Commonwealth Institute, Kensington.

The Museum’s leading lights – including Deyan Sudjic, the current Director, Terence, the founder, and John Pawson, the architect behind the Institute’s conversion – gathered to celebrate a new phase in the Museum’s history.

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Gordon’s Q&A with Terence Conran

To celebrate the launch of our Ten Green Bottles collaboration, we went over to Diageo HQ for some lovely elderflower and strawberry G&Ts.

Here’s the Conran work in pride of place in Diageo’s reception:

Conran + Gordon's Diageo HQ reception

The Ten Green Bottles artwork at Diageo HQ

Whilst we were there, Terence answered a few questions about his history, and the world of design in general. Continue reading

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Yes in my back yard

Three months after Sir Terence Conran aimed his ire at Grant Shapps’ slow progress on housing, the topic is hotting up, with George Osborne calling for ‘imaginative thinking’ around green belt development, and a general consensus that the housing shortfall has become a housing crisis.

The Conran Manifesto

Terence criticises the Coalition’s lack of progress on housing in May

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Terence on luxury

As part of our series of pieces on luxury design, we put a question to our Chairman, Sir Terence Conran:

Sir Terence Conran Continue reading

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Photo Finnish: celebrating Avotakka’s 45 years

Our (countless) Finish readers may be familiar with the Avotakka, the premier Finnish interior design magazine. Avotakka launched in December 1967, and in their inaugural issue ran a interview with a British trailblazer by the name of Terence Conran.

Avotakka Original p2

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Looking $100 billion

Last month, we launched our new Facebook timeline, which allows you to dip into our heritage, as well as keep up to date with our latest news.

It’s a work in progress, but we think it’s already looking pretty neat.

Conran on Facebook

The good people at Shiny Shiny seem to agree: they just included Conran in their roundup of ‘Cool Facebook brand timelines‘, alongside the likes of Starbucks, Red Bull, and the US Army!

Conran on Facebook @ Shiny Shiny

You can find Conran’s Facebook page here. If there’s more you think we could be doing with it, please let us know.

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The Conran Manifesto

Terence talked to the Times last week, outlining his vision for a property-based path out of recession.

Conran Bricks & Mortar piece

Terence was interviewed off the back of an open letter to the Government (published in the Friday Times Letters section), which called for a revival of the “vision, ambition and pride” that dragged Britain out of the post-War slump. He cites new council housing and VAT exemption for the refurbishment of derelict buildings as key starting points.

“I truly believe we can build our way out of recession. There is a massive bubble of demand and one day that must burst and kickstart growth. But we need the Government to provide the pin-prick.”

Conran and Partners is currently working on 2,500 homes for house associations across the country.

EDIT: here’s the full text of Terence’s letter to the Times:

Sir,

After working in design and business for almost 60 years I am currently enduring my sixth, and without question, worst recession. During the last recession I built Europe’s largest restaurant in Soho, because I believe the way through difficult economic times is to be bold, seize opportunity and create.

At the end of the 1970s there was a housing surplus. I wouldn’t say the stock was all good quality but if somebody needed a home they stood a good chance of getting one.

That was down to the ambitious postwar political desire to transform this country and improve lives. In 2010 we built the fewest homes since the end of the Second World War.

We need that vision, ambition and pride again because I truly believe we can build our way out of recession.

Banks need to lend, developers need to commission architects, plannes need to approve projects quickly and efficiently and we need to build. There is a massive bubble of demand that must be burst to kick-start growth. We need government to provide the pinprick.

Grant Shapps, the Minister for Housing and Local Government, throws out soundbites and tweets with Blairite fervour, but doesn’t appear to actually do much.

According to the charity Empty Homes, there are nearly one million UK properties vacant, a scandal that tweeting won’t help.

Housing starts are at near record lows and Mr Shapps can’t keep blaming “the last administration”. The coalition has been in government for almost two years now and excuses have worn thin.

— Sir Terence Conran, London SE1

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