Conran at the Design Museum

Another day, another exhibition.

This week’s display was of the career and work of Terence Conran, courtesy of The Design Museum in Shad Thames, London.

A fantastic way to introduce a show, the 3D display at the floor entrance aptly displayed the many facets to Conran’s talent.

The show deftly covered early design work, with displays of pattern work, and charted the developing interest in furniture and interiors.

The Design Museum marks Sir Terence Conran’s 80th birthday with a major exhibition that explores his unique impact on contemporary life in Britain. Through his own design work, and also through his entrepreneurial flair, Conran has transformed the British way of life. The Way We Live Now explores Conran’s impact and legacy, whilst also showing his design approach and inspirations. The exhibition traces his career from post-war austerity through to the new sensibility of the Festival of Britain in the 1950s, the birth of the Independent Group and the Pop Culture of the 1960s, to the design boom of the 1980s and on to the present day.  Design Museum: here

Of particular interest to me was the display of original advertising and identity material from the Habitat chain. Illustrations of the products formed integral parts of the early Habitat identity, appearing in catalogues, bags, wrapping paper, advertisements and invitations.  As the accompanying text suggests, this work was reflective of the playfulness of 1960s style.

Additionally, each exhibition section was marked and titled using a unique typeface comprised of objects and their silhouettes. Once again, this was reflective of the many aspects of design that Conran has covered within his work.

On a side note…

Traveling up to the capital with the Graphic Media students made for a more thoughtful day, being both left to my own devices and friendly to the others when possible. Interestingly, their perspective on the exhibitions we all saw was completely different to my own. Their attitudes and approaches were much more vocal and defined- perhaps they know what they like when they see it! But it was useful to spend time with the group I will be exhibiting next to this summer, if only to serve as a recognisable face when more collaboration is required between our respective year groups.

We live in very different parts of the Uni and its a shame we don’t all cross paths more often- I bet theres something we could all learn from each other! They were so energetic! Quick to denounce! Maybe thats the enthusiasm that I came in with 3 years ago??


After seeing so much in London recently- of design and general creative quality- I am now faced with the decision of what area to pursue in my Final Major Project. My gut says I want to work with text and image, juxtaposition, photography and editorial practice. Normally this would start ringing alarm bells, with my previous negative experience in that area, but I have some ideas of layouts that I would really like to explore the potential of. I like the idea of resetting an article I once read in Wired about creativity and inspiration. Something about the effect of left and right brain hemisphere communication, benefit of sleep and nature of inspiration.

Ideally, it would relate to my dissertation in some way, for some pre-existing solid contextual background to work from. At the moment I am oscillating between 2 concepts, which both deserve more thought and written consideration than an afterthought on an unrelated blog entry.

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