Monthly Archives: November 2010

Conran: Hotels of the Future / Part 1

Jane Lawrence, Interior Design Director from Conran & Partners, travelled to Venice to moderate a debate on the future of hotels – and unearthed some interesting conclusions.

If you were looking for architectural debate and inspiration Venice was definitely the place to be a couple of weeks ago, with the Venice Biennale of Architecture in full swing and, across the water, the International Hotel Conference at the Hilton Molino Stucky opening its doors to delegates from all over the world.

The conference was well attended – and managed to achieve a really informal atmosphere with lots going on, including two cocktail parties where much interaction and debate took place.

I also attended a dinner party hosted by one of the hoteliers, at a waterside restaurant on the Zattere.

The event does tend to be quite European/US -centric – it would be good to see more representation from the Asian sector; however the delegates that did attend represented a good cross section of disciplines involved with the hotel industry.

The title of the debate was Hotel 2025: Next generation design and technology – A look at the cutting edge design, technology and architecture that may find its way into your next hotel construction or renovation.

I was moderating a group of 5 hotel experts including; hoteliers, entrepreneurs, architects and technology specialists – a good indication of who attended the conference.

Several key themes emerged during the debate that kept the conversation very lively.

Communication and Personalisation presented itself as being very important in the minds of today’s hotel customers with a number of  people seeing a future where everything in your room is controlled by an iPhone and the space is tailored to your own requirements.

On the flip side many delegates considered the importance of a more personalised, face to face approach requiring better concierge services and higher levels of customer service.

All very interesting but it was up to me to make sure Design as a topic remained on the agenda – not just the functional aspects of hotels of the future.

The changing role of the lobby in a world of growing ‘Global Nomads’ was one that particularly interested me – with all-day cafes and the proliferation of WiFi people are now using lobbies as multifunctional, long-term venues and an alternative to their bedroom, especially for those among us who simply can’t wait to get out of a room that isn’t our own!


Lobby of the Conran & Partners designed Park Hotel in Hyderabad

Check out Part 2 tomorrow to hear more conclusions from the debate…

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Conran: Christmas is here at The Conran Shop

Santa’s little elves…or rather, the Visual Merchandising team…have been hard at work transforming the windows at The Conran Shop Fulham Road into a magical, festive land filled with a forest of white, wooden Christmas trees (made from recycled wood) and a carpet of delicate hand-dipped porcelain mushrooms.

Check out The Conran Shop Blog to find out more about how they did it…

There’s plenty of exciting offers and events on in-store in the run up to Christmas check out The Conran Shop for more details.

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Conran: The Art of Pitching

Part of any design process in business is pitching for, and winning, projects – and who better to pass on some tricks of the trade than our own CEO Roger Mavity, Author of ‘Life’s a Pitch’

We thought it might be fun but also enormously beneficial for our team to learn a bit more about this persuasive art, so last Tuesday night we gathered in Terence’s Apartment here at 22 Shad Thames to see how it’s done.

After a very engaging presentation from Roger names were put into a hat and we were split into teams and assigned a topic to get our teeth into on which to base our pitch.

Here’s a taster of the topics the teams were given…


The best place for a Brit to go on holiday is Britain

The better technology becomes the worse communication becomes

Sport is being ruined because there is too much money in it

Good transport in London depends on getting everyone on their bike

The follow up ‘Presenting the pitches’ takes place on November 15th. So watch this space to see who wins and a full report!

If you want to know more about the book click here to see an interview with Roger and co-author Steven Bayley.

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Conran: Content by Conran

Content by Conran, our range of contemporary upholstered furniture and cabinet pieces, is having a good year; great new product, swish new showroom – an (almost completed!) new website – and the story is reflected in some great press coverage in December’s sparkling festive editions!

Here’s a fabulous piece in House and Garden highlighting our bespoke fabric option, which is available on all upholstered pieces in the Content by Conran range.

Our iconic Matador chair is shown in an eye-catching retro print: Quadra by Romo and we love it!

See the full article here

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Conran: Helping to create a ‘Home from Home’ with charity CLIC Sargent

Conran & Partners has been working with CLIC Sargent for the last year on its new London project, Paul’s House, which opened for families this September.

CLIC Sargent is the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people and Paul’s House is a row of heritage listed terraces with a difference – it’s a ‘Home from Home’ providing free accommodation for families of children and young people having treatment for cancer and leukaemia in London.

The charity contacted us to see if we would like to be involved in designing the interiors of their new residence and, eagerly, we said yes!

The idea was to knock together several existing terraces to form one large shared house with a series of bedrooms connected to communal areas such as kitchens, play areas and TV rooms.

We agreed to focus primarily on the common areas of the houses, and as part of our role we specified all furniture, fittings and finishes in our allocated rooms, while the base building architect took care of the bedrooms and bathrooms.

The challenges involved in working on a project like this is to create a feeling of personality and ‘home’ comfort in a communal space while being ever mindful of the need for robust, affordable furnishings.

Together with a great team at CLIC Sargent, especially the diligent Project Manager Anna Kendall, we brought the project to fruition. We are all happy that we have created a peaceful environment where families can easily relax together.

Travelling to and from hospital while your child has cancer treatment can be exhausting and expensive, particularly in London. Paul’s House is located just one minute’s walk from University College Hospital, so families will no longer have to make long journeys to and from the hospital when their child is having treatment. It also provides an alternative for those who chose to sleep at hospital to remain close to their child.

Paul’s House is open now and if you’d like to contribute to this very worthwhile charity please visit

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Conran: Terence: There is so much left for me to do…

He celebrated his 79th birthday a couple of weeks ago but as he says himself – ‘there’s still so much left for me to do…’

Over the weekend The Independent ran a great feature about Terence from his youthful days at habitat on the Kings Road, through to the present – talking, not only about Conran, but about the furniture at Benchmark, his position as Provost of the RCA, facing his fifth recession and trying to enthuse Vince Cable on the subject of design.

What’s next? A date with David Cameron for starters….

Read the full article here

Credit: David Sandison

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