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  • Sir Terence Conran

    Terence Conran, in full Sir Terence Orby Conran (born October 4, 1931, Surrey, England), English designer, restaurateur, and businessman credited with making stylish housewares and home décor available to a wider market beginning in the 1960s.

    Conran attended the Central School of Arts and Crafts (now a college at Central Saint Martins University of the Arts), where he studied textile design. He established a furniture studio while still a student, sharing the space with one of his professors, artist Eduardo Paolozzi. In 1950 Conran left school to work for an architect, whom he assisted in planning structures used for the 1951 Festival of Britain. He opened a furniture workshop, Conran and Company, in London’s Notting Hill neighbourhood in 1952. Impressed by Gallic cuisine during a sojourn in France that year, Conran, along with several friends, opened a French-inspired restaurant in London in 1953; it was followed by a coffee shop in 1954. In 1956 he formed the Conran Design Group, which, in addition to subsuming his furniture business, designed interiors and retail spaces. Among the nascent atelier’s early efforts was a shop design for fashion designer Mary Quant. Though Conran made much of his early furniture by hand, by 1963 he had moved operations to a large factory in Norfolk, England.