SIR TERENCE CONRAN CELEBRATES HIS 80TH BIRTHDAY
Tuesday, October 4th, 2011
Jasper’s Father, Sir Terence Conran, celebrates his 80th birthday this week (October 4th) and to mark the occasion the Design Museum, London, is due to launch a major new exhibition entitled 'The Way We Live Now’, exploring his unique impact on contemporary life in Britain.
The exhibition traces Sir Terence’s career from post-war austerity through to the new sensibility of the Festival of Britain in the 1950s; the birth of the Independent Group and the Pop Culture of the 1960s; and continues into the design boom of the 1980’s and on to the present day.
The exhibition has been curated by Stafford Cliff and Deyan Sudjic and covers the key themes of Sir Terence’s career, which has spanned over fifty years in the restaurant, retail and design industries. He was also a founder of the Design Museum.
Sudjic said: “No one has done more to change the way that Britain looks, or the way we look at things. He’s changed the way our living-rooms look, what we cook, where we go on holiday, our restaurant habits. His influence has been enormous.”
Sir Terence founded home furnishings chain Habitat (opening his first shop in Chelsea in 1964) and the iconic Conran Shop; alongside designing and opening over fifty restaurants including Bibendum, Le Pont de la Tour, Quaglino’s and more recently Lutyens, Boundary and Albion.
But Sir Terence’s career shows no sign of slowing. He continues to launch new homeware collections and is working closely with the Design Museum; due to relocate its premises to the former Commonwealth Institute on Kensington High Street, which is set for completion in 2014.
In a recent interview with the Design Museum, Sir Terence said the most important thing as a designer is to “see that design is used to improve the quality of people’s lives.” He explained: “A designer has absolutely got to understand the manufacturing process and what the customer not only wants but might want.” He added that a good designer helps people to “enjoy their lives more than they do at the moment.”