Tag Archives: DESIGN

We are Conran, and we have a new blog…

‘What’s Going on at Conran?’ was launched in spring 2010 to show off everything we do at Conran, and what goes into it. Over time, it’s expanded to much more than that – a place for sharing our opinions as well as our work; for talking about our love of design, our favourite designers, galleries and places to eat.

To do justice to this, a new blog was needed, and we’re delighted to pull up the curtain on We are Conran. We hope you like it.

We’re on the lookout for guest contributors to the new blog – if you’re interested, or have any other feedback, let us know.

Finally: if you’re at a loose end tonight, do come down to The Conran Shop Marylebone from 5.30, where we’re celebrating our new Ten Green Bottles collection for Gordon, as well as our shiny new blog.

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Filed under Conran digital, Good design, Where do you find design inspiration?

Patriotism and British design

Patriotism is well and truly back in vogue. It started with a murmur last year – the Royal wedding and a brief flutter of flags kickstarted Southbank’s reprisal of the 1951 Festival of Britain; a neat row of bright pastel sheds and a crescent of sand brought the charm of the British seaside resort to the Thames.

That murmur has amplified into an almightily scream of Union Jack cushions, Tube Map teatowels and ‘Keep Calm’ posters. This ‘sentiment’ trend – a nostalgia for the Britain of yore – will wax at least until the Royal Jubilee and the London Olympics are long in the memory, and perhaps until our economy gets onto a firmer footing (there is comfort in nostalgia, after all).

The currency of British iconography has never been stronger, but this is a superficial patriotism. What about modern British design – objects beautiful in form and function, designed in Britain?

At Conran, we’re passionate about it. Few could knock Britain’s design heritage – from William Morris to James Dyson, British designers have always been a force to be reckoned with. But we’re also passionate about our design future – giving British designers the chance to thrive.

One thing we could do to secure that future is better-protect our designers. ELLE Decoration UK has launched an e-petition to reform copyright protection for designers.

As things stand, works of literature, drama, music and film are protected for 70 years from the death of creator, whereas designs are only protected for 25 years from their date of invention. Michelle Ogundehin, Editor in Chief of ELLE Decoration UK and V&A Trustee, argues that this disparity harms the profitability of designing in Britain – and fosters a market for cheap fakes of classic designs.

The Conran Shop has already thrown its weight behind the ‘Fight the Fakes’ campaign, currently blowing up across the web. So too has Terence Conran, who teamed up with Michelle for a Times feature on the initiative (sadly paywalled). Terence noted that the fakes industry has “grown hugely” in the past decade, and implored the Government to look after Britain’s young designers.

The Times interview

Our Chancellor envisages “a Britain carried aloft by the march of the makers”. In that light, isn’t it time we start championing not just the design classics of the past, but also those of the future?

Let us know what you think, and check out ELLE Decoration UK’s Equal Rights For Design Facebook campaign.

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Filed under TERENCE CONRAN, THE CONRAN SHOP

Last chance to see Conran’s fab four…

If you haven’t yet visited the Terence Conran exhibition at the Design Museum yet what have you been waiting for?

The great news is the exhibition which was due to finish this coming week has now been extended, by popular demand, until the 12th April.

However it is your last chance to see our fab foursome – a selection of bestselling Conran-designed chairs for M&S outside in the Design Museum tank.

Specially upholstered for the exhibition in our trademark Conran Blue and accessorised with Conran for M&S vases and Terence’s books this little capsule display is quite the essence of Conran. And what a location.

It’s your last chance to check them out this weekend. Stroll along the South Bank and take a look…

Read more about the exhibition here in The Telegraph 

Some of our previous blog posts…

Click here to watch a video on The Guardian’s website about how Terence changed the face of the British High Street

Or check out Terence talking to Design Museum Director Deyan Sudjic below

Terence talks to Deyan Sudjic


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Filed under Conran and London, Conran and M&S, TERENCE CONRAN

When Terence met Claudia: BBC Radio 2 Arts Show interview – the Festival of Britain, soup, the UK’s reputation for design and an ‘Ode to tools’….

Make sure you catch Terence’s lovely interview on the Radio 2 Arts Show with Claudia Winkleman – available on BBC i-Player until this Friday 13th.

It’s a really charming interview: hear the great man talking about how it all began at the Festival of Britain (“people in Macintoshes suddenly seeing a bit of colour”); the embryonic entrepreneur (“sitting around with a friend drinking cider and talking about ways to make money”); setting up his first restaurant – the Soup Kitchen (“a giant vat of soup, sold at a shilling a bowl”); his favourite aspects of habitat (“the buying meetings…tremendously exciting!”); his ode to tools; passion for UK design and manufacture and what he’s most proud of today and through his long and varied career. There really is so much he could choose from….

A young Terence Conran...

Don’t miss it. Click here to listen.

He’s on from 0: 15: 30 to 0: 35: 25 – with a bit of nice music halfway through…

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Filed under Conran and London, TERENCE CONRAN

The Man Who Transformed The Way We Live

Wandering around London it’s not often you see your boss’s name in lights – unless, that is, you happen to work for the man credited for changing the way we live. 

Last night Terence’s exhibition –  The Way We Live Now – opened at The Design Museum – and what a treat we had in store.

From the beauty, variety, inginuity and workmanship of the pieces themselves to the quirky, exclusive typography (done by our very own Conran Studio) and show design (ref: Conran & Partners Interior Design team) the show is a triumph. Well, we would say that wouldn’t we?! But don’t just take our word for it – it’s already got some rave reviews:

Check out Terence talking to Mark Lawson on Radio 4’s Front Row – listen here on iPlayer

A wonderful video here from The Guardian about Terence transforming Britain’s High Streets…

Here from The Express – The Man Who Transformed The Way We Live

..and that really is just for starters…more in the next couple of days – very exciting!

 Go and see for yourselves! – it’s on until 4th March 2012. Details here.

Even the room's turned Conran Blue...

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Filed under Conran and London, TERENCE CONRAN

What Conran saw: LDF 2011 Part 2

More from our teams on their LDF 2011 travels. Alice Walsh from Conran & Company had a good run around! If you missed part 1 click here

Mind over Matter at Kemistry gallery on Charlotte Road in east London was one of my fave spots. The exhibition brings together a collection oforiginal material and notes from Alan Fletcher’s archive, documenting thirty or so years of attentive curiosity. A small space but I found myself there for a good hour perusing the sketches filling the walls. Definitely worth a look. 

Another favourite was Continue reading

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Filed under Conran and London, London Design Festival 2011

Come and have a drink with us tonight and see what’s new at The Conran Shop Chelsea

It’s all happening tonight at The Conran Shop Chelsea- where they’ll be unveiling a fab new layout and some wonderful new products for London Design Festival 2011

 

Join us for drinks and check out what’s new tonight from 6-9pm. 

Click here to get your Design week E-INVITE

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Filed under Conran and London, London Design Festival 2011, THE CONRAN SHOP, TRADE SHOWS AND EXHIBITIONS