Future Exhibition Free display
The Conran Effect
The Design Museum invites you to celebrate the memory of its founder, Sir Terence Conran, with a free exhibition that looks back at his extraordinary achievements, featuring early furniture designs and the establishment of Habitat.
Since the 1950s, Conran worked as a retailer, an entrepreneur, and a restaurateur. He ran businesses, wrote books and worked with architects and property developers. But he always described himself as a designer, first and foremost.
Conran reshaped design in Britain, transformed the retail industry, helped develop the template for the modern design consultancy, and led urban-regeneration projects. His ideas revolutionised everyday life, changing the way we eat, shop, and live today. Conran's definition of design was not determined by luxury or exclusivity, but rather by the premise that form and function could come together in a timeless way to improve the quality of life.
In addition, Conran was a tireless champion of design education and the creative industries in Britain. Through his educational charity, the Conran Foundation, he founded the Design Museum in 1989, which he later described as one of his proudest moments.
This display is accompanied by the launch of a book honouring Conran’s life and work entitled Terence Conran: Making Modern Britain, written by Deyan Sudjic and published by the Design Museum.
“Terence had so many different careers, from craftsman potter, to the chairman of a £2 billion public company, to a restauranteur. As a student, he was close to the art world and worked for the artist Eduardo Paolozzi. By the time he was 25 he had opened five restaurants, started a furniture manufacturing business and a textile company. He became one of Britain’s most influential tastemakers through Habitat”.
- Deyan Sudjic, author and Director Emeritus of the Design Museum
The book is available for purchase at the Design Museum Shop.
As an independent charity, the museum has been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Please consider supporting the museum in its mission to make the impact of design visible to all.