Exhibition Free display

The Conran Effect

Enjoy a free display celebrating the life and work of the Design Museum founder, Sir Terence Conran, to mark what would have been the 90th birthday of the acclaimed British designer.


This display has now closed.

Habitat Catalogue, 1971

Habitat bag

Chequers tureen designed by Terence Conran. Made by Midwinter Pottery Ltd., c.1957 © the Design Museum

Chequers platter designed by Terence Conran. Made by Midwinter Pottery Ltd., c.1957 © the Design Museum

Michelin Restaurant

What to expect

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.

Terence Conran: Making Modern Britain

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.

What's On

2021 Exhibitions

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