Monthly Archives: July 2010

Conran: A Friday Feel Good Story…

Recently hatched on a nearby balcony, four tiny ducklings jumped to pavement freedom on Wednesday morning, where one was promptly run over by the Royal Mail – bad postie.

Terence’s driver Kev was passing and seeing that the remaining three would shortly meet a similar fate, he scooped them up and got them out of harm’s way. The mother duck had oh-so-cleverly nested on a 2nd or 3rd floor balcony above a particularly busy junction of Shad Thames with no access to the water, and unfortunately she would not return to her chicks due to all the traffic, both human and vehicular. We eventually decided to take them back to the Conran office, where they sat on the riverside balcony in case she found them there.

They were a huge hit with our staff, we felt very mean not letting anyone handle them, but we didn’t want to put the mother off in case she managed to hear their peeps and came back. Sadly they weren’t reunited, but the fabulous Tim Wykeham from Conran & Partners offered to take them to Folly Wildlife Rescue (link on his way home, a charity that rescues and rehabilitates wild birds and other animals.

We are very pleased to report that all three are doing very well in their excellent care, and have now become a foursome again – a lone duckling was brought to the Rescue Centre yesterday, exhausted and bedraggled, where he or she was introduced to the Conran Three and is now fully recovered and chirpy again – result! All four ducklings are now happy and healthy in sunny Tunbridge Wells, and it looks like they’ll all make it to adulthood, which is probably better odds than they had in SE1!

If you would like to support Folly Wildlife Rescue and therefore our erstwhile Conran ducklings, please click on the link,


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Conran Phone at 22 Shad Thames

Fresh from Japan our new Conran branded mobile phones are here and hanging in our windows at the Conran Head offices in Shad Thames, just behind The Design Museum.

Red, black and sophisticated brown and cream versions hang in the window space as if floating. The miracles of fishing wire…

Wonder how the phone project developed? Check out this cute little film which shows all…

More about the phone

People loving our phone…

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Conran: Iconic Shopping Centre to be listed

So Milton Keynes Shopping Centre (brainlessly rebranded as the meaningless ‘thecentre:mk’), has finally been listed.  Hurrah!  Designed by Conran & Partners first architecture director, Stuart Mosscop, when he was at Milton Keynes Development Corporation, it is half a mile long and over 30 million people a year shop there.

Jon Wright of the 20th Century Society told The Guardian “I am absolutely thrilled, I really never thought I’d see this day…a building of international importance. I hope now the owners will wear the listing as a badge of pride.”

The centre’s director, Robert Goodman, has described it as “nondescript and characterless”, which to me suggests he’s in the wrong job.  It’s an architectural gem. A cool Miesian classic.  The owners need to learn to love it. And it can be modified and extended sympathetically – just use architects who know about retail and know about fine architecture!

Paul Zara

Paul Zara is an Architectural Director at Conran & Partners

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Conran: Studio Conran are looking for new design talent

We are on the look out for some new blood – are you up to it?

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Conran: blog from an anonymous Architect and Developer

Blog from an anonymous architect and developer

I am somewhat puzzled by David Cameron’s ideas for a new ‘Big Society’ – and I think he is too.

Does this mean that the next time we become ensnared by the bureaucracy of planners, English Heritage, lawyers and other branches of the British civil service which stop excellent projects from seeing the light of day, we simply ignore them and get on with the job – bringing employment to many thousands. Or will he still stand by the old society that still seems to be designed to see that nothing happens, beset as it is with unaffordable and frustrating delays and unreasonable requirements.

I hope he will make clear what he really means so we don’t all end up in prison.

I hope he really means to loosen the bureaucratic tight rope that is around the neck of entrepreneurial adventurers stopping many from getting on with things and making them happen in these depressing recessionary times. A lot of laws need to be abandoned or changed if this is to happen.  If people really do get on with good projects without getting the myriad of permissions required will he defend the lawbreakers to create a new society?

Let’s hope he can clarify what he really means without delay.

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Conran: Terence supports The Evening Standard’s Dispossessed Fund

On Tuesday The Evening Standard launched their £1m Dispossessed Fund encouraging Londoners to unite to tackle inequality in the capital.

The bold headlines, dramatic statistics and thought provoking stories of Londoners living lives way below the poverty line struck an immediate chord with people all over our city.

Yesterday’s front page highlighted the instant and overwhelmingly positive reaction with donations already flooding in from generous Londoners everywhere….and our Terence was among them…

London is a city that millions of us are proud to call home but, as the Standard revealed, there is a shocking side to our great capital — a desperate level of poverty that we are not always quick to recognise and acknowledge.

This inspiring campaign can be a bold step towards dramatic change. The lucky ones should do something. I will.”


Donate Here


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Conran: More about our phone

The coverage of the Conran L-04B candy bar phone keeps on coming.

Read more about it here

..if you head down to Shad Thames from tomorrow onwards you might even see a couple of them hanging around in the windows of our offices…

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