This weeks lecture was given by Rachael Sleight who talked about her experience working for Nokia on an advanced texture research team exploring haptic feedback, she also talked about her experience working for Habitat and with Terence Conran.
For my birthday my parents gave me a book about Conran, until Rachael’s talk I didn’t realise the significance of the book’s cover which is Conran’s signature colour.
It’s a great book, I’d recommend it. It has a foreword by Thomas Hetherwick who was a student of Conran’s at London’s Royal College of Art. The picture on the left page below shows Conran sitting in a plywood gazebo in his garden that Hetherwick made for his degree show. Deeply impressed by Hetherwicks plans for milling the gazebo from a single piece of birch he allowed Hetherwick to use the workshops at Benchmark (a furniture company founded by Conran and Sean Sutcliffe) for building it. It’s now one of Conran’s favourite spots for having a peaceful, contemplative moment while smoking a cigar and drinking a glass of wine.
As you might have guessed from the title, the book takes you through Conran’s life in design. It covers the four different design companies he has formed, his experience in designing, opening and running restaurants, cafés, bars and hotels around the world including German Gymnasium, a restaurant in London which I talk about here in my research towards a Pecha Kucha presentation on the psychology of perception.