Tag Archives: conran design

Conran: Clerkenwell Design Week Part 2: Conran & Company take a look around…

The team from Conran & Company took a quick break from working flat out on our new Conran branded range for M&S to take a look around last week’s shows and exhibitions at Clerkenwell Design Week.

A quick whirlwind tour of rainy Clerkenwell last Thursday saw us scampering from venue to venue sheltering from the rain. God bless the estate agents handing out free umbrellas…you can never be too clever with a marketing initiative….

It’s always great to see Russel Pinch’s  beautifully and deceptively simple looking products in the flesh, as we did at The Farmiloe Building.

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Conran: *Stop Press* Exciting new collaboration with M&S

You might already have heard the very exciting announcement this morning about our new collaboration with M&S. Here’s Terence and M&S CEO Marc Bolland – one of  the ‘official’ shots.

The new Conran Exclusive Design Only at M&S collection will form the basis of the M&S Contemporary homewares offer and will include a wide range of home products incorporating furniture, bedding, lighting and kitchenware.

It’s been all steam ahead behind the scenes for Terence and the team from Conran & Company making sure we hit some very tight deadlines for launching our first ‘Preview Collection’ into 25 M&S stores and online this Autumn.

An early sketch meeting

An early development meeting in the Conran & Company studio

Designed by Conran in collaboration with M&S product developers, the collection will retain the quality and value customers expect from M&S, coupled with our unique Conran design signature.

There will be much more about this here and on our websites in the next few weeks and months so keep coming back for news and developments.

...but what's inside the file?!

..and make sure you clear some space at home in time for September 2011 – when the first wave of Conran products hit the shelves with more lines to follow from Spring 2012 onwards…

There’s some fabulous stuff coming through!


Filed under Conran & Company, Conran Exclusive Design Only at M&S Collection, TERENCE CONRAN

Conran: Meet the team – Afshin Mehin, Product Designer, Studio Conran

Who are we all anyway?

In these posts you can find out a little more about us…

Lorraine Brennan, Head of Business Development for Conran & Company, was the last to be featured – now here’s one of our fabulous product designers from Studio Conran, Afshin Mehin...

What’s your role here at Conran?

I’m a Senior Product Designer in StudioConran.

What were you doing before you joined Conran?

I just recently moved back to London. I was working for the last 6 years in California, most recently at IDEO in San Francisco. It was a great experience and I really enjoyed the optimism in California, but missed the critical design culture of London. I headed back to London last year, and was doing a bit of freelance work for studios like Barber Osgerby before joining StudioConran. It’s really great to be back!

Velocitek Sailing Speedometer, 2010

Where did you study?

Here in London, at the RCA. I studied industrial design but was interested in how electronic products could be designed in ways that could feel more sympathetic and delightful. So I did an internship at M.I.T.’s Media Lab in Dublin where I had a chance to explore this further. In California, this interest grew into a more commercial focus.

What do you love most about your job?

The opportunity to design objects that people will hold onto for a long time. People have the potential to invest personal meaning and value in objects over time and I am particularly interested in how technology products can move away from being throw away consumables to objects that people keep and love.

What are you interested in now?

My family is Iranian and I grew up in Canada though I’ve worked in the UK and the US. My cultural identity is complex and I am interested in how design can respond to this by merging and sculpting multiple aesthetics in ways that are both relevant to me and the products I design.

Vudu Remote Control, 2007

What’s the most interesting project you’ve ever worked on?

The most interesting project that I’ve worked on so far was the Olympic torch for the 2012 London Olympics. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to work on a product that will live on for years to come.

I’m also excited about the tactile audio speakers I’ve been designing as a way to have technological products integrate with daily life,  allowing them to become just as familiar as furniture.

Read more about Afshin’s work at Conran next week…

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Conran: New Conran Audio iPod dock is here

We’ve been talking about our brand new Conran iPod dock for a while now but have had to wait patiently until the first batch hit the UK before we could finally get our hands on one.

Well, we are pleased to report they are now here!  And they are looking – and sounding – absolutely fantastic.

Available in sleek black – for techno-lovers –  or bright white – to fit in with a stylish, modern Conran-esque interior – they have been designed by Studio Conran.

Their fabulous sound has been engineered by Q Acoustics and what’s more  not only can you dock your iPod/iPhone in the neat holster (which rotates for both a portrait and landscape view of the screen) but Bluetooth™ connectivity also allows the docks to be used wirelessly with any compatible device. Easy.

As Terence says…

“You can choose your song selection from the comfort of an armchair or, if it’s your thing, while dancing around the room.” Absolutely.

If the technology side of things doesn’t mean much to you then simply revel in the dock’s clean lines, ease of use (there’s even a little magnetic docking station for the remote control) and maybe even the lovely little dial at the side which lights up in different colours for different settings – seriously it’s some people’s favourite bit…

Watch the video via the link below to have a look at all the docks fabulous features…

Watch Video

Click to buy on conranshop.co.uk

Conran Audio is a new range developed in partnership with audio experts Armour Home Electronics – read more about the range here.

Read our post about the press launch of the dock

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Conran: Out and about with Conran: The latest from LDF 2010

Last night saw the exclusive retail launch of the new Emeco 111 Navy chair at The Conran Shop in Fulham Road. The chair is made from 111 recycled coca-cola bottles – not just a clever name. Read more about the launch here on The Conran Shop blog.

Everyone’s talking about LDF’s new exhibition, Tramshed, on Rivington Street in Shoreditch, a collaborative showcase of authentic high-end design brands. Terence’s furniture company Benchmark are among them. Craftsmen from the company are working in a temporary workshop making a range of furniture from domestic pieces to commercial projects, demonstrating their specialist skills in both woodworking and metalworking. Very exciting. Read more about it here on the Benchmark blog.

Benchmark at Tramshed

LDF isn’t all about the Southbank, South Kensington or Shoreditch – events are happening all over the capital – Emma Weber from Studio Conran happened across something interesting whilst out for dinner…

Yesterday night I had a magical dinner at the Wapping Project – by chance the design festival was also running ‘Trust Me’, an exhibition by Antwerp-based graphic designer Paul Boudens.

The work was presented in a large scale box covering the inside walls and flooring. Posters, book spreads, prints and invitations covered the entire space. His work for the fashion world such as Dries Van Noten, Yohi Yamamoto, The MoMu – Fashion Museum Antwerp, Jurgi Persoons and Oliver Theyskens has a human feel to it, he uses paint amongst other materials and the work has a sensitivity that makes it less ephemeral than other graphic designs in the world of fashion.

They have some great posters for only £5 on sale, well worth a look.

Paul Boudens at The Wapping Project

Of course no LDF is complete without parties…Silas Swinstead from Conran Contracts is our regular man about town…

Design week, or LDF as I recently discovered it is now referred to – perhaps to keep up with LFW – is usually a blur of samey showroom parties fuelled by way too much champagne, European lager or in my case GnT – ‘my case’ being that of a contract furniture salesman in the employ of Conran. Our multitude of International suppliers means there are no shortage of people to meet and greet at these events, and by now the new designs shown at Milan way back in the Spring are all too familiar.

This Design week however had something unusual; not only a brand new showroom, but a brand new product being launched from within its four walls. Just off Shoreditch High Street is renowned Interior Designer Lee Broom’s new studio and showspace, a necessity now he has expanded his creativity into product design. Being launched was the OLO collection, or One Light Only, the second string to Lee’s commercial lighting bow. The first being Decanter Lights, which we have already provided to a well known restaurant chain for a concept location, and it’s clear the OLO will have no shortage of interest from the A&D community and retail world alike.

Every year one of the highlights of Design Week has to be the Capellini Party, for the last two years at The Poltrona Frau Group’s Barber Osgerby designed space on St. John Street. On arrival I was greeted by the familiar faces of the Conran fraternity, nestled in our very own Proust Geometrica chair, supplied to the Big Brother House of 2009. Being asked to supply Endemol with this iconic piece of furniture was a true eye opener to the capabilities of supplying to the contract market.

What else is there to do at LDF? Too much to shake a hand-turned, ergonomically designed, made-from-wood-from-a-sustainable-source stick at.

What about having a look at Tent 2010?

Or what about Origin – the best craft show in town – at its new home in Spitalfields market. (Did we mention our very own Jill Webb was a judge this year?)

Or Designers Block at Oxo Tower Wharf (more about that on Monday…)

Enjoy it!

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Filed under Conran and London, Conran Columns: Tips for a great London weekend, London Design Festival 2010, STUDIO CONRAN, THE CONRAN SHOP

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 Foundation Awards recognise the next generation of artists and designers

Six students from the Royal College of Art have been named as winners of the 2010 Conran Foundation Awards.

Now in its fifth year, the awards were set up to encourage and support young artists and designers graduating from the Royal College of Art. The students were presented with their awards by Terence at a ceremony held at the College during SHOW TWO which ended last week.

“The Conran Foundation’s support of the College and the SHOW has been terrific. With the Conran Awards the Foundation is also helping six graduating students to realise their post-education dreams – a wonderfully appropriate way of recognising talent that has been nurtured and grown here at the College” – Dr Paul Thompson, Rector of the RCA.

The prize is worth £12,000 and the awards are open to students from the Schools of Fine Art, Applied Art, Fashion and Textiles, Architecture and Design, Design for Production, and Communications.

Lady Victoria Conran and Sebastian Conran from the Foundation as well as Professor Alan Cummings, Pro-Rector of the College, spent three days interviewing all of the candidates and discussing their work.

And this year’s lucky winners are…

Innovation Design Engineering student Richard Gilbert’s project Embodied, explores the larger systems that design operates in.  By highlighting how much energy is used in the design and manufacturing process through a simple ‘Top Trumps’ style information system, Gilbert hopes to alert people to the environmental impacts of design work and find alternatives to inherited design practices that simply do not have a place in the future.

From Photography, Agata Madejska’s work deals with extracting man-made objects from the urban environment. Photographs of monuments and statues are blacked out, giving them a different meaning to the viewer.

Sculpture student Lucy May was selected for her remarkable large-scale pieces – False Paradise 1, 2 & 3. Wax, foam, fake flowers, shredded plastic and wire were all utilized in giving these sculptures a distinct presence and spectacular beauty.

David Seesing from Vehicle Design has devised Symbiosis, a car made from an inner and outer layer of glass designed to channel air flow through the vehicle to aid fuel efficiency and temperature control. It is also intended to interface with buildings and homes by using a ‘chimney effect’ charging system, using the building to create internal airstreams which constantly pull air through the vehicle parked outside. Any surplus energy generated can feed into the national grid, as a more rounded concept of living.

Fashion Menswear student Hanna Ter Meulen’s exquisitely crafted garments caught the judges attention, with a combination of classic tailoring and innovative fabric manipulation. Hanna uses smocking and weaving techniques to shape the material in a contemporary way, creating a comfortable, flexible cut which shapes to the male body.

Harry Thaler, graduating from Design Products, was praised for his ingenious pressed aluminum chair which is bent into shape to form a super-light, stackable design. The chair is light enough to be lifted with only two fingers, yet extremely strong without any external structural support.

What’s the CONRAN Foundation?

Terence founded The Conran Foundation in 1980.  Its first initiative, the seminal Boilerhouse Project gallery at the V&A became the Design Museum at Butlers Wharf which – did we mention? – became the first museum in the world dedicated to the promotion and examination of design.

The Design Museum then…and now.


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Conran design yachts?

Did you know we also designed yachts?

Read about Studio Conran and Sealine and their award-winning yacht.

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Conran: Designed by CONRAN Green Kitchen range on sale this week

‘Green Kitchen’ is the ninth range of products we have designed for cult European coffee-house brand Tchibo – and it goes on sale tomorrow in stores throughout mainland Europe.

Get a sneak preview of some of the products here - watch out for the CONRAN banner…

Online at tchibo.eu

Find out more about the Conran and Tchibo ‘Designed by CONRAN’ collections here

And keep a look out for future blog posts coming up from some of the designers here at Studio Conran about the design process…

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Conran: New Benchmark Furniture launched at Terence Conran’s house in the country…

Benchmark Furniture launched a new range of twenty pieces of furniture designed by Terence Conran and the Benchmark team to the press this week.

Twenty five journalists came down from London to the Benchmark showroom and workshop at Kintbury in Berkshire on a perfect summer’s day to see the new products.

Lunch was served in a marquee in the vegetable garden and was made by the Benchmark canteen chef and sourced locally; crayfish and trout from the Kennet River, vegetables and strawberries from the garden and elderflower cordial made by Terence’s stepdaughter Hattie.

Tea with cakes and scones made by Terence’s wife Vicki was provided on the terrace in front of the house later on should anyone still have been hungry.

Terence was pleased that on the way back to London on the bus no volcanic clouds had intervened. In his words:

“It’s a lot easier than visiting the shows in Milan and a further demonstration that the UK can still make world class furniture at a reasonable price”

Here here.

The press have already started writing about it

David Nicholls in The Telegraph

The new Benchmark catalogue showing the new range was designed by Studio Conran.

Sarah O’Keefe, a graphic designer from Studio Conran who worked on the brochure was in attendance too

“After working with Benchmark over the last few months on their beautiful new brochure, it was lovely to spend a summer afternoon with them in the countryside eating delicious, locally sourced food upon a 11 metre length of oak. Benchmark have a true passion for craftsmanship and design, and their pride in what they do was very evident as they toured us around their workshops. If you ever find yourself in Kintbury, I would recommend dropping into their showroom to be inspired by the wonderful furniture they produce.”

Write to sales@benchmarkfurniture.com for a copy of the catalogue or look at the website


Benchmark –  Kintbury  –  Hungerford  –  Berkshire  –  RG17 9SA

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