“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.
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:
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
As the pedals whir and the epées clash, all the world and his dog are eyeballing London. And whilst the focus is obviously sporting, it’s a good opportunity for everyone who contributes something or other to our fair city – whether that’s commerce, art or artisan pastries – to show off.
Britain welcomes the world
The British Business Embassy is an organised way of showing off – a platform for demonstrating the imagination and innovation of British business, and the merits of investing here. As the top brass of the world’s top companies, from Google to General Motors, convene on London, how do you go about showing off the world’s greatest city?
Since getting around London doesn’t appear to be as much of a problem as we might have feared, we suggest you nip over to Marylebone High Street, where The Conran Shop is celebrating the Games with a fun Olympics-themed display.
As part of our series of pieces on luxury design, we put a question to our Chairman, Sir Terence Conran:
If you picked up a copy of World of Interiors this month, you may have spied this, a double-page spread celebrating The Conran Shop’s 25th year of trading, and showing off the stunning new Flagship collection.
As a destination for the best and most beautiful designer homewares in the world, The Conran Shop has long been a favourite lifestyle retailer of designers and decorators worldwide.
The Conran shop founded by Terence Conran, has its roots in London, where it was responsible for the revival of the iconic Michelin House building in Chelsea. Over the years the Conran name has become synonymous with all areas of design, from architecture and restaurants to cookware and soft furnishings.
The new ‘Flagship’ collection, available exclusively in the Chelsea store, re-establishes what The Conran Shop has always stood for – improving the lives of its customers with inspirational pieces to be loved for life, discovered in a visually stimu- lating environment. The new collection combines luxury, comfort and flair built on a palette of wood, cream, whites and beige, injected with classic Conran blue to create a timeless look. With over 3,000 lines of new and exciting products, the spring collection is the first phase of an ongoing redevelopment of the brand, which focuses on beautiful textures, honest materials and their British heritage.
You can see more of the Flagship collection at The Conran Shop Chelsea.
The Conran Shop launched the Get Real: Fight the Fakes campaign a few short weeks ago, in support of Michelle Ogundehin’s Equal Rights for Design e-petition.
It’s an issue that’s long been close to our hearts: at The Conran Shop, we sell the work of hundreds of designers; designers whose work we love. We think the second-rate copyright protection they have erstwhile enjoyed chills the climate for design in Britain. It’s also bad for consumers: fakes and copies are seldom as well-built as originals, nor do they hold their value.
Well, there’s good news: yesterday, the Government announced that UK copyright laws for designers are to be amended to be in line with those currently granted to artists, writers and musicians.
Until now, product and industrial designers have benefited from protection for only 25 years from the date at which the copyright is issued, in stark contrast to those afforded to the other creative industries, whose art is safeguarded from unauthorised copies for 70 years after the death of the original author.
As our Chairman, Terence Conran put it:
“By protecting new designs more generously, we are encouraging more investment of time and talent in British design. That will lead to more manufacturing in Britain, and that in turn will lead to more jobs – which we desperately need right now. Properly protected design can help make the UK a profitable workshop again. We have the creative talent – lets use it.”
The Conran Shop will continue to champion the protection of design classics by only working with licensed manufacturers and by informing our customer’s about the value of investing in design classics.
Let’s crack out the bubbly!
At Conran, we have some strong ideas about what constitutes good design. We think good design should make people’s lives better, first and foremost. Above all, to quote our Chairman, we have an affection for the ‘plain, simple and useful’.
From Terence Conran’s first splash at the Festival of Britain in 1951, we’ve worked across design disciplines to that end. It’s a heritage that we’re very proud of.
Facebook’s new ‘Timeline’ layout gave us a good opportunity to delve into our design history. Take a look for yourself, and find out what went on at Conran – as well as how we’re building on that heritage today.