Deterred by the ‘crass stupidity’ of the DTI

Conran Design Group, when I was involved with it, tried to design the interior of the Seville Pavilion for the DTI. Neal Potter was the lead designer, but even his skill and experience were defeated by the crass stupidity of our client, the DTI.

Everything had a commercial twist and every area was in a constant state of flux depending on the commitment or otherwise of a sponsor. I felt sorry for the staff at the DTI because there never seemed to be anybody to direct them: no one had an overall vision or could make decisions about what Government wanted to achieve and how they wanted the UK to be perceived.

At one stage I became so exasperated that I suggested they left Nick Grimshaw’s beautiful building empty. I’m sure it would have been more successful and memorable if they had agreed: less would have definitely been more.

As Neal Potter says, an architect or designer can only be as good as the brief. Something I’m sure the new Secretary of State at the DTI well understands.

Terence Conran

CD Partnership

London SE1

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