Sebastian Conran Associates is a product design & development studio that focuses on creating charismatic retail merchandise and user experiences that are contemporary, innovative and satisfying.
From our studio-workshop based in West London, we provide an integrated design service for businesses; from retailers, suppliers, and manufacturers to service providers, with a focus on creating real value, both within our client's business and the consumer's perception.
Sebastian's mechanically ingenious work has received many accolades and awards for design & innovation as well as being granted dozens of patents in a variety of industries.
The substantial design team is actively led by Sebastian, and has a wide variety of skills from industrial to interface design. They combine their insight, experience and understanding of manufacturing with a user-centric approach, considering the entire consumer experience including product, packaging, and marketing to be interrelated components in the make up of a successful offer.
We strive to innovative designs that are inspirational, aspirational, accessible and desirable. Eschewing one set prescribed formula, we favour a collaborative approach with our clients, working as closely, or as independently, as each individual brief requires, tailoring our process to get the best results for each individual client.
We believe that perception is reality and that the job of design is to make ideas successful, to create value for clients and customers by providing them with desirable and covetable objects and experiences.
We champion a 'concept to consumer' focus, by exploring the user-centric experience. Often, what separates success from failure is timing therefore, we pay particular attention to market trends, whilst designing in longevity.
Our strong-held belief that ‘simplicity is the essence of elegance’ underpins our design thinking. Understanding the nuts & bolts of manufacturing is essential to our design ethos ‘form follows fabrication’.
As creative principal Sebastian always takes a hands-on, down-to-earth approach to all the studio's projects. He is intimately involved in all design aspects during the innovation journey, sharing his wealth of experience and manufacturing expertise with the design team, however big or small the project. His design teams have received many awards for design & innovation, as well as being granted dozens of patents in various fields.
From stacking shelves at Habitat in his teens to running Studio Conran, Sebastian's life has been focused on understanding how things are made, sold, and used, as well as designing innovative, stylish & satisfying products. He has seen many thousands of successful & enduring products through from concept to consumer. Whether for John Lewis or Virgin Atlantic, Nigella or Nissan, to the many other industry leading clients across the globe that he has worked with during his career.
Sebastian Orby Conran, born 5th April 1956, Hyde Park Corner, London
After leaving Bryanston School with A levels in Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry, Sebastian studied Industrial Design Engineering at Central St. Martins. Where as the Student Union treasurer, he gave the Sex Pistols their first booking, and designed the record sleeves, posters, and clothing for The Clash.
1978: joined corporate identity consultancy Wolff Olins, gaining creative responsibility for key accounts such as Shell and Pilkington.
1981: led hard-merchandise design at Mothercare - a role that transformed the appearance and performance of childcare equipment.
1986: started product design studio, Sebastian Conran Associates.
1991: formed furniture design & manufacturing studio/workshops with Tom Dixon.
1999: SCA merged with the Conran group where Sebastian was responsible for all product and branding design.
2009: Sebastian Conran Associates is re-established in purpose built studio workshops in West Kensington, London.
He has also taught furniture design at the Royal College of Art, lectures frequently, judges many international design awards, and has written several books, articles and papers.
An active member of many bodies, Sebastian has worked with many design and educational institutions including:
Designer in Residence, University of Sheffield, Science & Engineering faculty
Visiting Professor of the University of the Arts London, Design faculty
Visiting Lecturer at the Royal College of Art, Design faculty
Chairman of Design Action in Scotland steering group - Scotland's Design & Industry knowledge exchange
Chairman of Innovate UK’s Design SIG steering group, with a mandate to transform UK’s Science & Technology into Experience & Culture
Chairman of Design & Technology Alliance steering group - UK Home Office's body tackling crime with design process
Chairman of the TSB’s Creative Industries KTN steering group
Founding Trustee of The Design Museum – the first international museum of design
Trustee of the Design Council - the UK's national strategic body for design
Trustee and Governor of Bryanston School
Trustee of D&AD, the international body of creative professionals
Trustee of the Conran Foundation
Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts
Fellow of the Chartered Society of Designers
Fellow of the Institute of Packaging
Hon. Fellow, the Royal College of Art
Hon. Doctorate of Technology, Loughborough University
Hon. Doctorate of Arts, Hertfordshire University
Ambassador for Aerospace Bristol
Ambassador for ICAN, the children's education charity
Ambassador for ACID, the anti copying in design lobby group
Anywayupcup - DBA Design effectiveness award, best of year, BFP most innovative use of plastic Horner's Award & Design Council Millennium product
Equilibrium scales - Excellence in Housewares award & FX design award
John Lewis Radius Table - Furniture Guild Design Mark
John Lewis Boxer Shelves - Furniture Guild Design Mark
John Lewis Aerofoil Desk - Furniture Guild Design Mark
Leonardo icon range - Red Dot design award
Micromap - British invention of the Year & Design Council Millennium product
Mothercare Via Pushchair - BFP most innovative use of plastic Horner's Award
Nigella Lawson's Living Kitchen - Homes & Garden's Judges Award
Sainsburys bY range - D&AD product design selection & Elle Deco most iconic products of the year
Sealine, T60 Aura Yacht Interior - Red Dot Award; Cannes Boat Show, Best in Category & Garmin, Motorboat of the Year
Smart Cafe Cafetiere - Design Council Millennium product
Smart Cafe OneCup - Red Dot product design award
Tchibo kitchen - IF product design award
Universal Expert 'Counter + Sink' collection - Red Dot design award
Universal Expert 'Prep + Cook' collection - Red Dot design award
Universal Expert 'Share + Serve' collection - Red Dot design award
Villeroy & Boch Aveo bathroom - IF product design awards
Yamagiwa Stem Ray light - Red Dot Award
Yotel, Compact Hotels - International Forum, Product Design Award & Red Dot Award