Wednesday, 21 September 2011

The Way We Live Now - Terence Conran Part2

Photographer Neil Wilder
[John Parkinson Agency]
Yesterday evening I was pleased to have been invited to a talk/presentation /celebration for Sir Terence Conran. See previous post:

Deyan Sudjic, Fiona MacCarthy, Christopher Frayling and Stephen Bayley gave talks about Conran's life, inspiration and achievements. It was interesting, historical and inspirational - when you review someone's achievements in this way, it can leave one feeling a little lacking!

He has influenced virtually every area of design – furniture, textiles, retailing home furnishings, interiors, commercial environments, airport interiors, designing and running restaurants cafés, bars and hotels.
Conran says he has a fundamental aim – to produce useful things at a price that most people can afford. This maybe so, but what I found most interesting was Stephen Bayley's comment that whether it concerned food or design (and he explained the interconnection) that Conran cared for these three principles:
  • Materials
  • Execution
  • Details 
...maybe this is genuinely the route to intelligent design (and no, I don't think that sounds too pompous). It was fascinating too, that his interest in natural products mainly manifested itself in the use of wood - so I'm sure he has an appreciation of quality paper!
I also found interesting parallels with the piece I wrote recently about Robert Welch:
...and it was interesting that the piece I wrote about the late Rowley Atterbury, listed three past recipients of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA)  Bicentenary Medal: Terence Conran, Deyan Sudjic and Christopher Frayling, all people involved in this very evening...
sadly not a medal that I'll be receiving, but an interesting link between the past and the present.

I think talks/lectures/presentations like this are essential to go to. To hear dynamic people, to be inspired by recent history can surely only serve to enhance our daily working lives. I hope that the Design Museum and the Tate will do more of these events.
Thanks to Rose Dahlsen at The Tate for inviting me to come along.
Posted by Justin Hobson 21.09.2011

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