Terence Conran , the man who changed the way we live and eat.
Sir Terence Conran is one of the world’s best-known designers, restaurateurs and retailers. He founded the Habitat chain of home furnishings stores that revolutionised the High Street in the 1960s and 1970s by bringing intelligent modern design within reach of the general population.
Born in 1931, he founded the Habitat chain, which brought good, modern design within reach of the general population.
Conran started his own design practice in 1956 with the Summa furniture range and designing a shop for Mary Quant.
In 1964, he opened the first Habitat shop in Chelsea, London, which grew into a large chain selling household goods and furniture in contemporary designs.
In the mid-1980s, Conran expanded Habitat into the Storehouse plc group of companies that included BhS, Mothercare and Heal’s.
Habitat marked the birth of a remarkable business journey that, over the course of half a century, has embraced design, retailing, restaurants, hotels and publishing.
In 1990 he lost control of the company.
In 1985, with Paul Hamlyn, he opened Michelin House (which he turned into the restaurant Bibendum) and the Bluebird Garage, both in Chelsea. Conran had a major role in the regeneration in the early 1990s of the Shad Thames area of London next to Tower Bridge that includes the Design Museum. His business, Conran and Partners, is a design company comprising product, brand and interior designers and architects, working on projects all over the world.
He has also been involved in architecture and interior design, including establishing the architecture and planning consultancy Conran Roche with Fred Roche in 1980.
In addition to his successes in the design, retail and travel worlds, Conran is a prolific writer whose informative books have sold over 20 million copies worldwide.
In September 1983 he embarked on a joint publishing venture with Octopus Books under the name Conran Octopus to produce a range of books about interior design, cookery, gardening and crafts that broadly reflect Conran’s design philosophy and lifestyle.
Conran Octopus continues to publish Conran’s books, which include Terence Conran’s New House Book, Terence Conran’s France, The Essential House Book, The Essential Garden Book, Terence Conran on Design, The Ultimate House Book, Easy Living, Terence Conran on Restaurants, Terence Conran on London, Small Spaces, Classic Conran, a cook book co-written with his wife Vicki, Terence Conran on Bathrooms, Storage: Get Organised and most recently, How to Live in Small Spaces.
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