Kingston graduate and design guru dies.



James Irvine, a Kingston graduate and designer who worked and lived in Milan, Italy, has died.


Caroline Bursell


Kingston graduate and furniture design guru, James Irvine, has died at the age of 54


The death of Mr Irvine on February 18 saddened colleagues and designers across the globe, his work had secured him an honorary doctorate in design from Kingston in 1981, and the title of Royal Designer for Industry in 2004.


“The design world is a poorer place without him,” tweeted Kingston’s faculty of art, design & architecture on Tuesday.


Design guru


The Kingston design school alumni’s funeral was held on February 20 in the Basilica of San Simpliciano in Milan, Italy.


After leaving London in 1984, Mr Irvine opened his own studio in Milan and worked with clients including Canon, Muji and Ikea, as well as designed an exclusive Mercedes-Benz O530 Citaro bus body for the 2000 World Expo.


“The world has lost a great person.”


Mr Irvine worked as a design consultant for Italian manufacturing giant, Olivetti and Toshiba’s design centre in Tokyo. He also independently designed buses built by Mercedes in Hanover, earning the respect of other international designers.


David Report’s editor-in-chief and friend of Mr Irvine, David Carlson said: “The world has lost a great person and a great designer.”


Uncertain future for studio


A spokesperson for Irvine’s Milan studio told architecture magazine Disegno of the studio employees’ misery over their founder’s death, and that the studio’s future was, as of yet, uncertain: “We are all shocked. We’re not thinking about the studio now; it’s something we will look at over the next few days.”

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