The Conran Foundation: Collection
Conran Foundation -- Design for Quality of Life

In 1993 The Conran Foundation Collection was established. Every year a young, design-associated personality would be invited to spend £30,000 (in 1993 money) on “things you'd like to live with” reflecting their personal opinion of what they found most inspiring. Ross Lovegrove became the first guest “collector” and he included items from a special edition camera to coat hangers, and from a Castiglioni sofa to Gillette shaving gel!

The initiative was a hugely popular annual event and guest collectors were:

  • Ross Lovegrove (1993)
  • Jasper Morrison (1994)
  • Alice Rawsthorn (1995)
  • Janice Kirkpatrick (1996)
  • Dan Pearson (1997)
  • David Constantine (1998)
  • Carol Vorderman (1999)
  • Tyler Brule (2000)
  • Marc Newson (2001)
  • Droog (2002)
  • Tom Heatherwick (2003/4)

After celebrating its 11th Anniversary with Tom Heatherwick as its guest collector, it was decided to break for a few years in order to properly archive and document the previous collections.

In addition to partly funding the Design Museum and sponsoring The Conran Foundation Collections, for a number of years The Conran Foundation sponsored the Royal College of Art's Summer Graduate Show. Previous donations include contributions to the Sir John Soane's Museum for its "Wright to Geary" exhibition and to Bryanston School for its Creative Arts Building.