Born in London, James Irvine graduated in 1984 from the Royal College of Art, London. In the same year he moved to Milan. From 1984 to 1992, he was a design consultant for Olivetti design studio Milan, under the direction of Michele De Lucchi and Ettore Sottsass. In 1987 he worked for one year at the Toshiba Design Centre in Tokyo. He returned to Milan in 1988 and opened his private design studio. His first clientes were Cappellini and SCP. From 1993 to 1997, in parallel to his private studio, he was a partner of Sottsass Associati, responsable for the studio’s industrial design group.
In 2004 he was the guest of honour at the fair Interieur in Kortrijk and was also elected Royal Designer for Industry by the Royal Society of Arts in London. In 2007 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Design from Kingston University.
Studio Irvine is an Architectural and Design studio based in Milan specialize in product design, art direction and raw spaces focusing the research on the pure matter. Run by the Architect Marialaura Rossiello Irvine, the studio was founded in 1988 by British designer James Irvine. The studio remains faithful to a recognizable design approach not only in the final product, but in the entire process which, starting from the material, involves all stages of transformation: from production, to communication and to the product strategy.
“Studio Irvine has a specific design method that I like to summarize in the list of keywords that guide me along the way, depending on whether you approach the project from the point of view of Art Direction, product design or Architectural project: respect the material and its production processes, building a coherent and independent corporate identity, create a work team in which to combine project culture and business culture, aim for the timeless and respect the Genius Loci designing alchemy of space, light and matter… ” MRI, 2021
The cross-disciplinary philosophy pursued by the studio denotes a constant inclination and curiosity towards all types and scales of projects: from the design of a bus to that of a pen, from the art direction of a company to that of launching a new design brand. In its 30-year history, the studio has woven a dense network of interactive relations among “fabbriche del design”, makers, artisans, graphic designers, curators, journalists, photographers and designers. Driven by a diversity of expertise, skills and visions in a common creative process focused on each new specific project. The studio is a place whose rich collection of objects, prototypes, pictures, souvenirs, collections, drawings and history provides a continuing source of inspiration for future design projects. Studio Irvine is the story of a constantly evolving family studio.
Marialaura Rossiello is instilled with a vision in constant evolution, rooted in the classics of the Italian design school but with a broader international outlook. Born on the slopes of Vesuvius, Marialaura graduated in Architecture in Naples under Riccardo Dalisi. From the poetry of design and a deep respect for tradition and history, in 2000 she was catapulted into the capital of Italian design for a master in Strategic Design at the Politecnico. Concreteness became a challenge, marketing, communication and strategy the keynote. For a number of years she collaborated with Italian design brands, and grew accustomed to consider the product within a comprehensive corporate process. Then she moved on tiptoe into a different British atmosphere. In 2011 she became partner of Studio Irvine, where industrial products were the throbbing heart of design.
Alias, Amorim, Arper, Artemide, Baleri Italia, Discipline, Foof, Marsotto Edizioni, Matteo Brioni, Muji, Offecct, Olivari, Phaidon, Thonet, Zumtobel…
→ Marialaura Rossiello Irvine
Architect & Art Director
Via Vigevano, 8
T. +39 02 36527811
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