Related to: 'Nordicana'

By Terence Conran

Plain Simple Useful

Terence Conran has always believed that objects – and surroundings – that are plain, simple and useful are the key to easy living. Here are three projects to get you started on creating a contemporary living space.

Amber Butchart

Amber specialises in the historical intersections between dress, politics and culture. She has written books on the perennial influence of nautical dress and the impact of film on fashion, and she is regularly asked to speak at cultural hotspots from the Tate to the V&A. Amber recently presented A Stitch in Time, a six-part series on BBC Four that fused biography, art and the history of fashion to explore the lives of historical figures through the clothes they wore. It was described as "snappy and engaging" by The Guardian, "hugely enjoyable" by The Telegraph and "mesmerising" by the Radio Times. This was followed by Civilisations Stories: The First Refugees for BBC One and BBC Four, about the Huguenot silk weavers of Spitalfields for the landmark BBC Civilisations season. Her two-part documentary for BBC Radio 4 tracked the rise of vintage clothing and the global ramifications of secondhand style (see here for more). Amber's expertise spans a number of areas. She is a National Crime Agency External Advisor as a Consultant Forensic Garment Analyst, working with Alecto Forensics on cases that require investigation of clothing and textiles. She is an Associate Lecturer in Cultural and Historical Studies at London College of Fashion, and a former Research Fellow at the University of the Arts London. She has penned articles for The Guardian, Times Literary Supplement, Financial Times, Icon and The Pool, and is a regular contributor to Frieze.?Amber began her career as Head Buyer and Trend Analyst for international vintage clothing company Beyond Retro. During this time she was interviewed for The Observer as one of the fashion world's best buyers and photographed for Vogue as a girl with great British style. She established the Beyond Retro Design Archive which sells vintage inspiration pieces to global fashion houses, and she was a contributor to leading trend forecasting company WGSN. She has also worked as a design consultant for fashion brands.?Amber is one half of creative collaboration the Broken Hearts, whose spectacular DJ sets were described by The Independent as "a Hollywood musical on hallucinogenics." Together they have graced stages across the globe from Paris to New York and Hong Kong for the likes of Marc Jacobs, Vivienne Westwood and Louis Vuitton. Their weekly primetime radio show on Jazz FM ran for over 3 years, earning them a Radio Academy Award nomination, and was described by The Guardian as "a cool swing music show hosted by two vintage style icons." To find out more, visit their website.

Camilla Stephens

Higgidy's founder and chief pie maker, Camilla Stephens, began making pies in 2003, having trained as a cook at Leiths School of Food and Wine. She worked for a time as head of food development for Starbucks UK before leaving to follow her dreams and start her own business - Higgidy. Since then, Higgidy has become one of the UK's fastest-growing food companies, and its products are now stocked in most of the country's major supermarkets. Camilla is married to Higgidy's co-founder James, and they have two children.

Chris Gatcum

Chris Gatcum has lived and breathed photography for over two decades, working as a pro photographer, journalist, specialist magazine and book editor, and best-selling author. A passionate advocate of experimental digital and traditional photography, he is as comfortable conducting technical camera tests as he is demystifying the art of photography for the rest of us.

Chrissie Rucker & The White Company

Chrissie Rucker OBE, started The White Company in 1994, when, unable to find well-designed, beautiful-quality white bed linens, that were also affordable, she decided to invest her £6,000 savings to produce them. The first The White Company collection offered a small range of essentials for the home that included everything from high-quality bed linen, bedspreads, pillows and duvets to luxury towels, bathrobes, china and table linen - all in simple, classic white. Today, what began life as a small 12-page mail-order brochure has become one of the UK's fastest-growing multi-channel retailers and a trusted British lifestyle brand. The range has grown enormously and now also offers home accessories, fragrance, furniture, clothing, nightwear and children's wear. Throughout, The White Company has adhered to its core values, championed by Chrissie: a passion for white, great design and fantastic quality that is still affordable. 'We are obsessive about the details, and believe that beautiful things should be loved and used every day,' says Chrissie. When Chrissie started The White Company, she did every job herself: answering the phone, packing boxes, running the warehouse, buying the product, allocating the stock, producing the brochure, marketing and even the accounts and HR work. The result? There isn't an area of the business Chrissie hasn't been involved in or understood what challenges it can bring.Today, Chrissie's vision and passion for The White Company remains at the heart of the business, and she is committed to its growth in both the UK and internationally. There are now 65 stores, and June 2017 saw The White Company open its first international flagship store at 155 Fifth Avenue in New York's Flatiron district followed by a second store at the luxury The Mall at Short Hills, New Jersey in November. July 2018 saw The White Company's first European flagship open on Dublin's Grafton Street.

Demetrius Fordham

Demetrius Fordham is a professional commercial, editorial and lifestyle photographer based in Brooklyn, NY. Born in Stuttgart, Germany and raised in Denver, Colorado, Demetrius launched his photography career assisting iconic photographers such as Sheila Metzner and Kurt Iswarienko. He was also the first assistant of celebrated commercial photographer Doug Menuez for many years.

Eric Zandona

Eric Zandona is Director of Spirits Information at the American Distilling Institute, and a writer for Distiller Magazine. He also runs the website EZdrinking.com and is an author/editor for the ADI's publishing arm, White Mule Press. He lives in Mexico.Twitter: @EZdrinking

Gynelle Leon

Gynelle Leon is the founder of Prick, London's first shop dedicated to cacti and succulents. Her boutique has been featured in the Evening Standard, the Financial Times, Monocle, i-D and the Huffington Post. She is also an RHS award winning plant photographer.

Haje Jan Kamps

Haje Jan Kamps set up his first photo website at the age of 16 and is now one of the world's best-read photography bloggers; his site photocritic.org has thousands of visitors every day. Shooting with any camera he can, including his smartphone, he has built a successful freelance career, and written books for serious professionals and hobbyists alike, including bestseller 'The Rules of Photography & When To Break Them'. He has also founded a photography technology company, Triggertrap, which sells smart remote releases.

Harri Rose

Harri Rose is a qualified health coach and mindfulness teacher. She teaches body acceptance, self-compassion and creative living. Harri believes that for too long we have been apologizing for our bodies - and that diet culture and beauty standards are holding us back. Through her writing, workshops and 1:1 clients, Harri helps people to live their lives without rules and restriction and embrace how amazing they really are.

Henry Mcnulty

Henry McNulty was born to American parents in China in 1913. He returned to the States for his education and became a war correspondent during World War II, which took him around Europe and gave him the opportunity to gather observations on the drinking habits of different countries. He began working for the drinks industry in the 1950s as a PR consultant, later progressing to a career in drinks journalism. Henry wrote for publications including House & Garden and Gourmet before landing a regular wine and spirits column in Vogue, some of which were abridged for the first edition of Vogue Cocktails. He also authored Vogue A-Z of Wine, One for the Road (a guide to non-alcoholic drinks) and Drinking in Vogue. Henry came to be considered as a trusted authority on drinks and a cocktail aficionado.

Judith Miller

Judith Miller began collecting in the 1960s while a student at Edinburgh University in Scotland. She has since extended and reinforced her knowledge of antiques through international research, becoming one of the world's leading experts in the field. In 1979 she co-founded the international best-seller Miller's Antiques Price Guide and has since written more than 100 books which are held in high regard by collectors and dealers.Judith Miller appears regularly on TV and radio. She is an expert on the BBC's Antiques Roadshow and has co-hosted the popular BBC series The House Detectives, ITV's Antiques Trail, and Discovery's It's Your Bid. She has appeared on The Martha Stewart Show and CNN. She is a regular lecturer and contributor to numerous newspapers and magazines, including the Financial Times, the Daily Telegraph, BBC Homes & Antiques and House & Garden. She has lectured extensively, including at the V&A in London and the Smithsonian in Washington.

Linnea Dunne

Linnea Dunne was born and raised in Sweden, where she started her writing career as a columnist at the local newspaper aged 15. She left for Ireland a few years later and eventually moved to London, where she studied Creative Writing and Political Communications. Linnea's work on subjects ranging from motherhood to women's rights and media narratives has been published by (among others) the Irish Times, the Guardian and the Irish Independent. She also works as Editor of Scan Magazine, spreading the word about all things Scandinavian, and is the author of Lagom: The Swedish Art of Balanced Living (2017). Linnea now lives in Dublin with her husband and two kids. Juggling life as a work-from-home freelance professional with motherhood and countless creative projects, and inspired by her husband who gets up early to meditate every morning, she recently took up daily yoga and set out to find out how a good morning ritual can contribute to a sense of peace and purpose.

Lucinda Wilde

Having been thrown out of a perfectly good grammar school for being caught in possession of an alternative mindset, Lucinda Wilde found an outlet for her passion for the written word in the heady days of feminist publishing in London. After a period of travel in Africa and Asia, she returned to England and has been involved with publishing ever since. She lives on the edge of Dartmoor with her family and other anarchists and is working on acquiring a direwolf in the near future.

Matthew Keightley

Matt Keightley is an award-winning garden designer with more than 12 years' experience in the landscaping industry and a reputation as one of the UK's most exciting young garden designers.He made waves within the landscaping industry in 2014 when, as a debutant at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, he was awarded the RHS Silver-Gilt Medal and the highly acclaimed BBC People's Choice Award for his 'Help for Heroes' show garden, dedicated to the wounded men and women of the armed forces. One year later he was back at Chelsea, this time working with Prince Harry for his charity Sentebale.Matt's 'Hope in Vulnerability' show garden earned him another Silver-Gilt Medal and the BBC People's Choice Award for the second year running. In 2017, he was appointed to design an RHS/BBC Radio 2 garden for Chelsea with presenter Jeremy Vine. A contemporary space designed around the sense of touch, this immersive, tactile garden featured bold geometric forms juxtaposed with a soft, elegant planting palette.Matt is now working on projects in the UK and Germany. His personable character and extensive horticultural knowledge ensure that he is a regular guest presenter and speaker at various garden design events and seminars.www.rosebanklandscaping.co.uk

Michael Freeman

Michael Freeman, professional photographer and best-selling author, was born in England in 1945, took a Masters in Geography at Brasenose College, Oxford University, and then worked in advertising in London for six years. In 1971 he made the life-changing decision to travel up the Amazon with two secondhand cameras, and when Time-Life used many of the pictures he came back with, he embarked on a full-time photographic career.Since then, working for clients that include all the world's major magazines, most notably the Smithsonian Magazine (for which he has shot more than 40 stories over 30 years), Freeman's reputation as one of the world's leading reportage photographers has been consolidated. Of his many books, which have sold over 4 million copies worldwide, more than 60 titles are on the practice of photography. For this photographic educational work he was awarded the Prix Louis Philippe Clerc by the French Ministry of Culture.Freeman's books on photography have been translated into 27 languages.

Paul Henderson

Paul Henderson has been GQ's Food and Drink editor since 2003. He has interviewed many of the biggest names in gastronomy, from Gordon Ramsay to Jamie Oliver. His work has also appeared in the Guardian, the Telegraph and the Spectator.

Robert Arp

Robert Arp is Adjunct Professor of Philosophy at Maple Woods College and Johnson County Community College, in the Kansas City area. He has attained a PhD in Philosophy from Saint Louis University, and specializes in the philosophy of biology, the philosophy of mind, and modern philosophy. A member of The American Philosophical Association and The Philosophy of Science Association, Robert Arp has written numerous articles, book chapters, and books, and is the editor of South Park and Philosophy (Blackwell Publishing, 2006), the co-editor of Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Biology (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009), and the author of An Integrated Approach to the Philosophy of Mind (Cambridge University Press, 2010). In 2013 he was general editor of 1001 Ideas That Changed The Way We Think. See his website at robertarp.com

Robert Dimery

Robert Dimery is a freelance writer and editor who has worked on Tony Wilson's 24 Hour Party People, Pump Up the Volume: A History of House, and 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die, plus countless other popular music publications. He has also contributed to books on classic albums and classic singles, and has worked for a variety of magazines, including Time Out London and Vogue. He lives in London.

Steven Jay Schneider

Steven Jay Schneider, one of the true connoisseurs of movie horror, has written, talked, taught and published extensively on all aspects of film, from aesthetics and psychoanalysis to the joys of the slasher flick. Here he has brought together more than 50 of the finest writers, reviewers, critics, professors, aficionados and filmmakers from around the globe. From Le Monde's Jean-Michel Frodon in Paris to Undercurrent's Chris Fujiwara in Tokyo, the team compromises the best that film writing has to offer and includes contributors to Empire, Sight & Sound, Time Out, Rolling Stone, the New York Times, Total Film, International Film Guide, LA Weekly, CineAction, Film Quarterly, NME, the Washington Post, Filmmaker, Moviemaker and many more.

Terry O'Neill

Terry O'Neill is one of the most important photographers of his generation, taking iconic portraits of artists from The Beatles to The Rolling Stones, Elizabeth Taylor to Audrey Hepburn. He has worked with such icons as Michael Caine, Brigitte Bardot, Sean Connery, Terence Stamp, Ava Gardner, Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Raquel Welch, Roger Moore, Amy Winehouse, Nelson Mandela and hundreds of others. Frank Sinatra, whom O'Neill worked with for several decades, considered him a friend and O'Neill had a close working relationship with David Bowie, including photographing the iconic "Jumping Dog" image used for the promotion of Diamond Dogs. O'Neill's photograph of Faye Dunaway sitting by the pool the morning after winning the Academy Award in 1977 is widely considered to be the most iconic image of Hollywood. His work is included in permanent collections in museums, galleries and private collections worldwide.