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James Irvine was born in London and graduated in 1984 at The Royal College of Art. The same year he moved to Milan and from 1984 to 1992 he became a design consultant for Olivetti design studio working across industrial products under the direction of Michele D Lucchi and Ettore Sottsass. In 1987 he worked for one year at the Toshiba Design Centre in Tokyo making design research for industrial products. On returning to Milan in 1988, he opened his private design studio and began working with clients including Cappellini and SCP. In parallel to his own studio, he also became a design partner of Sottsass Associati and was responsible for the industrial design group until 1998. His design studio in Milan continues to work with various internationally renowned companies including Muji, Olivetti, Phaidon, Thonet, Foscarini and Gallerie Kreo.