Introducing Clever Confidential: The Darker Side of Design—The Strange Disappearance of Norman Jaffe

09.01.20 | By
Introducing Clever Confidential: The Darker Side of Design—The Strange Disappearance of Norman Jaffe

Do you love architecture, design AND true crime stories? Well, then you are IN LUCK! Today, Clever podcast embarks on a new journey (with your support!). Listen to the first episode of Clever Confidential, an offshoot podcast where Clever digs into the lesser-told stories of the darker side of design. Hear the stories of the shadowy – sometimes sordid – tales hiding under a glossy top coat of respectable legacy.

The first episode focuses on the strange disappearance of architect Norman Jaffe.

On the morning of August 19th, 1993, quintessential mid-century architect, Norman Jaffe, parked his car in his client’s driveway, walked to Ocean Beach in Bridgehampton, New York, stripped down, neatly folded his clothes, and dove into the Atlantic. He never returned. Despite a frantic search initiated within a few hours of his disappearance, his body was never recovered.

Was it murder? Was it suicide? Did he fake his own death? What happened to Norman Jaffe?


Clever Confidential can become a series with your support! Send Clever a note via email or on Instagram @cleverpodcast. Tell them what you like and what you don’t. Plus, share what other stories you think they should pursue.

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Hosts: Amy Devers & Andrew Wagner
Guest: Alastair Gordon
Writing and research: Amy Devers & Andrew Wagner
Production: 2VDE Media
Editing: Rich Stroffolino
All Sound Bites: from Alastair Gordon’s documentary film Beyond the Beach: The life and Death of Norman Jaffe, Architect
Theme Music: “Astronomy” by Thin White Rope courtesy of Frontier Records.
Logo: Laura Jaramillo

For more on Norman Jaffe, grab a copy of Alastair Gordon’s Romantic Modernist, The Life and Work of Norman Jaffe, Architect, published by Monacelli Press in 2005.

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Jaime Derringer, Founder + Executive Editor of Design Milk, is a Jersey girl living in SoCal. She dreams about funky, artistic jewelry + having enough free time to enjoy some of her favorite things—running, reading, making music, and drawing.