5 Facts About Sir Terence Conran
Sir Terence Conran was widely regarded as the voice of authority on design in the UK.
The Brooklands Watch Company Model 1 was his penultimate masterpiece. Read on to find out some interesting facts about one of the brightest minds in British design history.
1 – A PIONEERING MIND
Sir Terence’s vision to bring well-designed items into ‘ordinary’ people’s homes was, at the time, a bold one. The arrival of Habitat – decades before IKEA – allowed the masses to enjoy excellent designs via flat-pack furniture. The products were aimed at “someone on a teacher’s salary” and revolutionised the way people outside of the upper classes shopped for home furnishings.
2 – ON THE SCREEN
A little-known fact about Sir Terence is that, in addition to his pursuits across the creative arts, he once appeared in the world of comedy drama. Look closely during season 5, episode 7 of the BBC’s police comedy Pie in the Sky and you’ll catch Sir Terence playing himself on screen. He can be seen firing up a hefty cigar as he saunters past the Design Museum at Butler’s Wharf on the Thames, offering a glimpse of the man in his natural Habitat.
3- AN ACCOMPLISHED AUTHOR
Harnessing a seemingly infinite creative energy, Sir Terence wrote over 50 books during his career whilst simultaneously working as a designer. The books focus broadly on his design philosophy and have sold over 25 million copies worldwide. They include The Bed and Bath Book, Terence Conran’s France, The Conran Cookbook and Garden Style.
4- AN EXCITING CHILDHOOD
Sir Terence’s inspiration for designing the Brooklands Watch Company Model 1 offers a glimpse into his childhood. During the design process, he drew from memories of his father going to the races at Brooklands on Saturdays, and the fact that his mother learned to fly there. A childhood filled with images of exquisitely designed machines undoubtedly honed his creative mind and inspired him to work on designs of his own.
5 – FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Conran’s foray into different creative mediums didn’t stop at design and writing, but continued into the culinary world throughout his life. He created many restaurants in London and elsewhere, and was named as the most influential restaurateur in the UK by Caterer and Hotelkeeper magazine. His successful restaurants include Bibendum at Chelsea’s Michelin House, and Boundary, a restaurant, bar, café, and meeting room complex in Shoreditch.