Monthly Archives: August 2012

Friday Tip: Head to Heatherwick

Terence Conran mentored the young Thomas Heatherwick, whom he recently called ‘the Leonardo da Vinci of our times’. In fact, Heatherwick’s final degree project was assembled – and now resides – in the garden of Terence’s Berkshire home.

London Routemaster – Heatherwick Studio

Heatherwick’s new Routemaster bus

If Heatherwick was a star already at the start of 2012 – with, for example, the new design for London’s Routemaster bus under his belt – then he’s recently gone interstellar. His grand design for the Olympic cauldron, featuring 204 copper petals put in place by the athletes of each competing nation, was the centrepiece of an almost-universally praised opening ceremony.

Heatherwick's cauldron

The spectacular London 2012 Olympic cauldron

He’s also the subject of a major exhibition at the V&A at the moment. Entitled Heatherwick Studio: Designing the Extraordinary, it examines a wide range of projects, from urban planning to fashion. Heatherwick’s multi-modal genius affirms a notion very close to our hearts, that great design requires only two ingredients: creativity and empathy.

If you’re at a loose end this weekend, you could do an awful lot worse.


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Designing for good: the D+AD White Pencil

We’re big believers in the capacity of design to improve the world. Of course, all design should do this, from a coffee cup to a piece of architecture. But some designs are more virtuous than others.

D&AD White Pencil

The D&AD White Pencil award exists to honour the crème de la crème of virtuous design – designs submitted in response to a brief, that help make the world a better place. Appropriately enough, the awards are based around Peace One Day, the global peace day held every 21st September.

This year, the brief is to grow support for Peace One Day itself:

“Grow awareness of and engagement with, Peace Day, establishing September 21 as a global, self-sustaining, annual day of peace, when everyone can take action to end conflict in their own lives and in the lives of others.”

Peace Day is about far more than just kind words: in 2007, its potential was proven when Peace One Day led a ceasefire in Afghanistan, and 4.5 million children were vaccinated against polio.

Peace One Day

Anyone can enter the White Pencil. Winners will prove the value of their idea by acting on it: raising as much awareness as possible in the run up to and on 21st September, and explaining how they’ve done so. There are more details here.

Daljit Singh, head of Conran Singh, is a D&AD Ambassador, and has this to say:

“The White Pencil presents a unique opportunity engage the grey matter towards good, a chance to point our collective energy and skills to do something better for society.”

Off you go!

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Friday Tip: Who makes the best pizza in London?

Burnt Enz is a Hackney pop-up that is making waves this summer: Australian superstar chef David Pynt turns out spectacular dishes, from suckling pig to sourdough bread, all cooked on very Heath Robinson barbecue.

Burnt Enz

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Moving day at Green Man Lane

Green Man Lane is a Conran and Partners-designed housing development in Ealing, that will eventually consist of over 700 new homes, including 338 affordable rentals, as well as parks and community facilities. (More info here.)

A few weeks ago, Phase 2a of the project was completed, and the first families picked up the keys to their new homes, ate some cake, and cut the ribbon! Continue reading

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Friday Tip: Game on

We couldn’t in good conscience recommend anything other than watching lots of Olympics this weekend – but why not do so in the park, rather than the twilight of your living room?

The London 2012 website has a handy list of big screen ‘live sites’, the weather looks good, and The Conran Shop has the perfect accessories…

Conran Shop flags

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Securing our Olympic legacy

Yesterday we talked about how we’re helping the British Business Embassy show off Britain’s many talents away from the athletics track, helping to build a lasting legacy from the Olympics. On the same theme Conran Singh, our digital agency, have been helping The Legacy List with their communications effort.

The Legacy List is a charity established by the Mayor of London and the Olympic Park Legacy Company, tasked with engaging Londoners in cultural and community events that make use of the Olympic sites after the Games are over. The charity will commission a range of works of art and education projects in the coming weeks, month and years.

The Legacy List

The Legacy List website

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Helping Britain show off

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?

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