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Sir Terence Conran 1931 – 2020

TerenceConranDMusuemSir Terence Conran died on 12 September. The designer, retailer, manufacturer, restaurateur, property developer and philanthropist was 88.

Conran launched Habitat in 1964, attracting consumers who wanted a break from post-war austerity, ultimately leading to the creation of the Storehouse group which included Habitat, Heal’s, Mothercare and BhS. 

He also co-founded Benchmark Furniture with Sean Sutcliffe in 1986, with the company’s workshop and showroom in the grounds of Conran’s Berkshire home. Three years later the Design Museum opened.

‘Terence Conran was instrumental in the re-designing of post-War Britain and his legacy is huge. He is revered by generations of designers from Mary Quant and David Mellor to Thomas Heatherwick and Jonny Ive. He changed the way we lived and shopped and ate. He also created a great institution – the Design Museum - of which he was justifiably proud and with which he remained fully engaged right to the end of his extraordinary life. It was a privilege and an inspiration to know him,’ says Tim Marlow, Design Museum chief executive.

Conran was married four times and had five children.

‘He was a visionary who enjoyed an extraordinary life and career that revolutionised the way we live in Britain,’ says a family statement. ‘He was adored by his family and friends and we will miss him dearly. It gives us great comfort to know that many of you will mourn with us but we ask that you celebrate Terence's extraordinary legacy and contribution to the country he loved so dearly.’ He ‘promoted the best of British design, culture and the arts around the world,’ with ‘a very simple belief that good design improves the quality of people's lives.’

Image: Design Museum