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 architecture and design studio based in Milan specialized in product design, art direction and architectural spaces in which there is a specific research on materials and surfaces.
Studio Irvine is run by the architect Marialaura Irvine and her cross-disciplinary philosophy denotes a constant inclination and curiosity towards all types of projects: from the design of a chair to the one of a surface; from the art direction of companies to architectural projects.
“Our mission is to simplify in order to improve the overall design and its production. Metodo Irvine implies an approach that is recognisable not only in the final product, but in the entire process that, starting from the material, involves all the stages of transformation: from production to communication and product strategy.
A method that can be summarized in a list of watchwords that guide us along the way, depending on whether we approach the project from the point of view of art direction, product design or architectural design:
1. Designing is a collective work: create a working team in which project culture and business culture are combined
2. Respect the material and its production processes
3. Build a coherent and independent corporate identity
4. Respect the Genius Loci
5. Design alchemies of space, light and materials/texture
6. Aspire to the timeless
Our research is linked to mono-materiality; always in search of a synthesis that, following an industrial approach, reduce material waste. Materials are to be used in a structural sense and not merely decorative. The shape of the project comes as a consequence”. MI
The studio was founded in 1988 by the British designer James Irvine and throughout its 30 year history, it has woven a dense network of interactive relations among “fabbriche del design”: artisans, graphic designers, curators, journalists, photographers, designers and entrepreneurs.
Metodo Irvine is driven by curiosity, love for detail and a great deal of humour, combining a rigorous British approach with the layering of historical tradition typical of Italian architecture.
Studio Irvine is the story of a constant evolving family studio.
Marialaura Irvine is instilled by a vision in constant evolution, rooted in the classics of 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, she was catapulted into the capital of Italian design, Milan, where she attended a master in Strategic Design at 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. Since 2013 she has directed Studio Irvine, where industrial products are the throbbing heart of design.
Arper, Baleri Italia, Faraone Mennella, Mattiazzi, Matteo Brioni, Muji, MPlus, Offecct, Phaidon, Thonet…
Via della Moscova, 7
T. +39 02 36527811
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→ Marialaura Irvine
Architect & Art Director
→ Ernesto Messineo
→ Natalia Garcia
→ Kornelia Janowska
→ Prehome: photo credit Santi Caleca
→ About: photo credit Nathalie Krag