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

Sir Terence Conran, the British designer who revolutionized the retail and decorating business, has passed away at the age of 88.

Best known as the founder of Habitat, he brought modern style and simplicity to UK homes in the 1960s, and later helped establish the Design Museum.

“He was a visionary with an extraordinary life and a career that revolutionized the way we live in Britain,” a family statement read.

“He was loved by his family and friends and we would miss him a lot.”

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Sir Terence at the Swinging London Gallery launch event at the Fashion and Textile Museum in 2019

  • Obituary: Sir Terence Conran

“We are very pleased to know that many of you will mourn with us, but we ask you to celebrate Terence’s exceptional legacy and his contribution to the country that I love so dearly,” the statement added.

He has “promoted the best British design, culture and art around the world”, “with the very simple belief that good design improves people’s quality of life”.

Sir Terence began his career in the late 1940’s, but has become a household name as one of the main designers of the 1960s.

His empire used to extend to restaurants, architecture and chains including Mothercare, but he is still known thanks to his elegant furniture, interiors and household items.

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Photo taken at Boundary’s Terence Conran booth in Shoreditch in 2009

He pioneered flat-pack furniture years before IKEA landed on British shores, helping lower the prices of his sophisticated designs in his attempt to “democratize good design”.

Design Museum Director Tim Marlow led the honor, saying it is “a privilege and an inspiration to know it”.

Marlowe wrote in a statement: “Terence Conran was instrumental in the redesign of postwar Britain and his legacy is immense.

He is respected by generations of designers, from Mary Quandt and David Millor to Thomas Heatherwick and Johnny Eve.

“He changed the way we lived, shop and eat. He also created a wonderful institution – the Design Museum – that he was justifiably proud of and remained fully involved in it until the end of his extraordinary life.”

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Shoppers at Habitat in 1973

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