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

The Conran Foundation is an educational charity, aiming to promote a better understanding of the commercial & cultural benefits of excellent design. It was established in 1980 with a donation from Sir Terence Conran who continues to provide all its funding.

The Foundation's first initiative was in 1981 with the seminal Boilerhouse Project. This was a newly built gallery that started life in a unused and dilapidated space in the basement area of The Victoria and Albert Museum. This new gallery was intended as a resource for students, designers and the public to stimulate design awareness and discussion. It was responsible for many lively, original and acclaimed exhibitions including Sony Design, Kenneth Grange, Issey Miyake, and Dieter Rams retrospectives, Coca Cola — a global brand, and case study of the development of the Ford Sierra.

In 1989 the Boilerhouse Project metamorphosed to become the Design Museum relocating to a purpose-built, modernist building in Butlers Wharf close to Tower Bridge.Also funded principally by The Conran Foundation, the founding objective of the Design Museum was to stimulate interest in the design of the industrially produced object. The first museum in the world of its kind opened to the public in 1990, early exhibitions were wide ranging and included Porsche, Alpha Romeo, the Bauhaus — Charles & Ray Eames and Brunel.Seedesignmuseum.org/about-us

The Conran Foundation has also supported design in education by sponsoring, for a seven year period, the graduation show at the Royal College of Art. More recently the Foundation has supported design in schools through two grants to the Creative Education Academies Trust.

Under the current director Deyan Sudjic, to coincide with its 25thanniversary, the Design Museum is moving into an outstanding piece of 1960s architecture originally home to the Commonwealth Institute located in Holland Park, Kensington. The renovation of this iconic building will give over three times as much exhibition space in a much more accessible location. This repurposing of the new Design Museum is being carried out by the acclaimed building designer John Pawson.'