Design according to Habitat

08 septembre 1998
02m 48s
Ref. 00260


Summary :

On the occasion of Habitat's 25th anniversary, a report from one of the stores of the company, which was founded by Terence Conran. Interviews with Yves Cambier, Habitat's director of communication, Desolina Suter, a Habitat designer, and customers of the store.

Media type :
Broadcast date :
08 septembre 1998
Source :
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By opening his first Habitat store in Chelsea in 1964, the Brit Terence Conran contributed to the democratisation of design by creating furniture accessible to the greater public thanks to their affordable prices.

Born in Kingston in 1931, Conran received a technical education and first showed a preference for textile materials. He began in interior design by working for the architect David Lennon. At the same time he completed his first creations, collections of objects and furniture with bright and playful colours, that he would soon commercialise by creating his own business. He soon met with wealth which allowed Conran to develop his activities throughout the 1980s in the sectors of furniture (Conran Shop, Benchmark Furniture...) but also in the restaurant business. He also created in London the restaurants Soup Kitchen, Pont de la Tour, Blueprint Cafe...

In 1983, he was knighted by the Queen of England, who honoured both the entrepreneur of international renown and popular designer aiming to reinforce links between industry and design.

Claire Sécail


Yves Cambier
The concept is based on a very simple idea. that the founder had, that is Sir Terence Conran, to offer clients products, pleasing furniture and objects that are nicely drawn for every day life. First you have the much more conventional stores. You have the local furniture shop, whether it is in the country or in one of the Paris neighborhoods, and then, small decoration shops mainly concentrating on gadgets. The products, furniture and objects, were presented in piles, in veritable masses of objects, which was completely new for the period. 25 years ago, we needed already to confront So it was reassuring to have a store that corresponded more or less to an aspiration for modernity. Today, people have traveled, read several magazines, There is competition, so one has to seduce people differently, and people come, pass by, and eventually buy, but most often, browse and go from one store to another. We must know how to retain them.
It is fairly practical because it is big and there are several.
Unknown 2
It is a bit expensive to buy all of one's furniture there.
So are you looking for small objects?
Unknown 2
Yes, mainly small things, yes.
Desolina Suter
It consists of, starting with a general discussion of the whole creative team, to have an idea materialize, that is, to begin with an idea, with a desire for something that we want to have in the collection, work so that it becomes a sketch, then a product, and that it can arrive in the shop and communicate the original idea. Habitat's unique quality is that in fact the tendencies are decided internally. We do not contact design companies, for either the colors nor the images, which would be likely to give us ideas or direction. We try to sense and guess what will be desired tomorrow, to materialize it in the orientation panels, in the selections of colors, which will then be, the direction that we will all follow together, in order to arrive at a collection.
Yves Cambier
The Habitat style consists of well designed products, made with interesting materials, several colors, and above all, that are useful.