Sebastian Conran

Fellow of the Year 2017

Sebastian began his journey stacking shelves at Habitat, the store his father; Sir Terence Conran, launched. Growing up in a creative environment with mother and author, Shirley Conran, it was inevitable that as a natural creative, he would soon discover his own design specialism.

Since he has gone on to create thousands of successful products from concept for clients such as John Lewis, Villeroy & Boch, Virgin Atlantic, Nissan Cars, VitrA and more and has influenced and improved the landscape of British and global product design for over three decades.

With a hands-on, down-to-earth approach, Sebastian has been intimately involved in all design aspects of a project during the innovation journey, sharing his wealth of experience and manufacturing expertise regardless of the size or financial value of each project. Sebastian now heads Studio Conran but began his journey grounded in a ‘design is 95% hard work’ ethic.

While studying Industrial Design Engineering at Central St. Martins, he honed his natural curiosity and creativity skills by also paying attention to the ‘business’ of creativity. As the Student Union Treasurer, he gave the Sex Pistols their first booking, and designed the record sleeves, posters, and clothing for The Clash. His curiosity and imagination along with a commercial understanding of creative outcomes led him to the role of creative responsibility for key international accounts such as Shell and Pilkington at Wolff Olins, a corporate identity consultancy. At the age of 25, he led hard-merchandise design at children’s high street retailer; Mothercare – a role that transformed the appearance and performance of babies buggies – creating over £100 million in sales.

Launching his own product design studio in 1986; Sebastian Conran Associates landed collaboration 5 years later with Tom Dixon and the duo formed a furniture design & manufacturing workshop. Sebastian Conran Associates later merged with the Conran Group where Sebastian became responsible for all group product and branding design. His design teams have received a plethora of awards for design & innovation, as well as being granted dozens of patents in a variety of fields.

With his broad knowledge and experience in design thinking Sebastian shares his talent, experience, and ideas, with the greater design community. He judges many international design awards, has taught furniture design at the Royal College of Art, is visiting professor at Bristol Robotics Lab, Designer in Residence at University of Sheffield’s engineering faculty, and is developing a route to market into leadership support for numerous design and educational institutions.

Sebastian Conran is arguably and unassumingly, a world-class leading product designer!

 

 

Past Winners

Fellow of the Year 2015

Fellow of the Year 4
Theo Fennell

Jeweller – Silversmith

Fellow of the Year 2014

Fellow of the Year 18
Bill Kenwright CBE

Theatre and Sport

Fellow of the Year 2013

Fellow of the Year 7
Sir John Robert Madejski OBE DL

Entrepreneur

Fellow of the Year 2012

Fellow of the Year 21
Liam O’Connor

Architect

Fellow of the Year 2011

Fellow of the Year 15
Robin Gibb CBE

Songwriter/Singer

Fellow of the Year 2010

Mark Wilkinson OBE
Mark Wilkinson OBE

Cabinetry Craftsman