Octopus pays tribute to author and 'design visionary' Sir Terence Conran

Octopus pays tribute to author and 'design visionary' Sir Terence Conran

Octopus has paid tribute to British designer, retailer and restaurateur Sir Terence Conran, who died aged 88 over the weekend.

Conran, who was knighted in 1983 for his services to design and retail, passed away peacefully at his Barton Court Home on Saturday 12th September.

The Habitat founder's passing prompted an outpouring of tributes, including from the Design Museum, which he also helped found in 1989, and from his publisher Octopus, with whom he published more than 50 books on design and founded imprint Conran Octopus.

Conran created Habitat in 1964, bringing affordable design to the high street. A decade on he wrote his first interior design guide, The House Book (published by Mitchell Beazley, now an imprint of Octopus) and went on to write 50 more, including most recently My Life in Design (September 2016) and an updated edition of his manual for what he called "easy living", Plain Simple Useful (June 2020).

In 1985 he and Paul Hamlyn created the imprint Conran Octopus to produce "informative but inspiring" books about interiors, design, gardening and cookery, with authors that have included Gordon Ramsay, Monty Don, LEON restaurants, Dan Pearson, British Vogue and the Design Museum. The imprint is part of the Octopus Publishing Group.

Alison Starling, Conran's publisher at Octopus, commented: "Terence’s belief that good design improves the quality of people’s lives was core to his creation of Conran Octopus and with it he transformed illustrated book publishing. His legendary work ethic and passion for useful, beautiful books showed no signs of flagging. Octopus creative director Jonathan Christie and I visited him for a book meeting at Barton Court last summer. The morning began with a tour of his glorious walled kitchen garden and ended with a glass of good white Burgundy but in between there was plenty of work to be done to ensure we had the best possible book. He leaves behind an extraordinary legacy and Octopus are so proud to have been his publisher."