en-us Inspired by Yarra

Peter Russell-Clarke

YOG 1986

Industrial Designer with Apple

“Yarra taught me to observe everything around me, to not take things for granted and see opportunities to do things differently”

Yarra Old Grammarian, Peter Russell-Clarke, left Australia 27 years ago to pursue a career as an industrial designer. After working in London, for the past 12 years he has lived in San Francisco, where he is one of Apple’s top industrial designers. 

Peter is part of a small, select team of designers from around the world responsible for deciding what the latest Apple watch or iPhone looks and feels like, and how we interact with it.

Over the past fifty years Yarra has inspired many students to pursue their passions and interests. Peter remembers how working in the graphics department at School with teacher, Mr Maggs planted the seed of the career he enjoys today.

“I was fortunate because a number of chances came together – a love of graphic design, maths and physics. It was a mix that didn’t seem to align with any profession and then someone told me about industrial design. I enjoy creating things and finding new ways of how we interact with things. Every day I go to work and learn something new.”

While many of his friends went to local state high schools, attending Yarra opened Peter’s eyes and saw him make friends with students who were sporty, academic or part of the trendy School set. 

Learning to comfortably migrate between friendship groups has enabled Peter to communicate with people from different cultures and walks of life, a skill he values from his Yarra days.

Peter lives by the School motto Levavi Oculos every day. To him it means always looking out for new ways of doing things and new ways in which people are living their life.

“It’s about observing everything around you, not taking things for granted and seeing opportunities to do things differently.”


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