This month we are Twitter interviewing Sir Terence Conran, one of the world’s best-known designers, restaurateurs and retailers. He founded the retail chain Habitat, before forming the Conran group. The group designs everything from tower blocks to tea towels, as well as operating shops and restaurants are the world. Conran Contracts, part of the Conran Group is a sponsor of the Restaurant & Bar Design Awards 2012/13.
What design challenges are unique to hospitality?
People go out expecting something special. I think the level of scrutiny is unique – it has to be the very best of design.
What’s your greatest source of inspiration?
Seeing Britain engage more and more with design. Heatherwick’s new bus is a great example. Design putting a smile on people’s faces.
What would your ideal hospitality project be?
I love working with historic buildings, like Michelin House and Bluebird. There’s plenty in London I have my eye on!
Which is your favourite Conran restaurant or bar and why?
Bibendum for timelessness and elegance. It serves perfect food, in a perfect restaurant in my perfect building.
Which shortlisted project from the Restaurant & Bar Design Awards 2012/13 is your favourite and why?
I was thrilled to see so many witty, fun designs on the list, from Martin Creed’s Sketch to Russell Sage’s Bounce.
I also look forward to seeing the fruits of the box projects. Designers often produce their best work when constrained.
We’re delighted to be involved in several of the entries, and in the box project. It’s an exciting field to be a part of.
Do you feel that there are any trends appearing within hospitality design, or any specific design features which are becoming more common?
Historically, hotel restaurants have been atrocious, but more and more London hotels are offering decent food. A great trend!
Find us on Twitter: @weareconran