Sir Terrence Conran: ‘Visionary’ designer dies at 88

Sir Terrence Conran: 'Visionary' designer dies at 88

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Sir Terence’s empire expands into restaurants, furniture and architecture

Sir Terence Conran, the British designer who revolutionized retail and decoration, has died at the age of 88.

Known as the founder of the ecosystem, he brought modern style and simplicity to homes in the UK in the 1960s and later helped to find the Design Museum.

“He was a spectator who enjoyed an extraordinary life and career that revolutionized our way of life in Britain,” he said in a family statement.

“He was adored by family and friends. We will miss him a lot.”

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Sir Terence at the opening of the Swinging London Exhibition 2019 at the Fashion and Textile Museum

  • Death: Sir Terence Conran

It gives us great comfort to know that many of you will mourn with us, but we request that you celebrate Terrence’s extraordinary legacy and contribution to the country he so dearly loved.

He “promoted British design, culture and the arts around the world in the best possible way” with the very simple belief that “excellent design improves the quality of life of people”.

Sir Terrence began his career in the late 1940s but became a household name as one of the leading designers of swinging in the 60s.

His empire will extend to chains including restaurants, architecture and mothercare, but he is best known for his accessible and fashionable furniture, interiors and homeware.

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Jonathan Player / Shutterstock

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Pictured in the 2009 Terrence Conran Suite on the border in Shoreditch

He started Flat Pack Furniture years before IKEA arrived on the British coast, helping to reduce the cost of cutting edge designs in an effort to “democratize good design”.

Tim Marlowe, director of the Museum of Design, said it was a privilege and inspiration to get to know him.

In a statement, Marlowe wrote: “Terrence Conran played a key role in the re-design of post-war Britain, and his legacy is vast.

He has been revered by designers for generations, from Mary Quant, David Meller to Thomas Heatherwick and Johnny Ive.

“He changed the way we lived, the shopping and the food. He created the Museum of Design – a great institution in which he is reasonably proud, and he remained fully engaged until the extraordinary end of his life.”

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Shoppers in a residential area in 1973

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