Jacob van der Beugel was born in London in 1978. He studied History of Art at York University and has been apprenticed to two leading world ceramicists, Edmund de Waal and Rupert Spira. In 2014 he completed The North Sketch Sequence described as the 'most important art installation at Chatsworth since the creation of the Sculpture Gallery in 1832'. This permanent installation transforms an entire room into an architectural ceramic DNA portrait of the Devonshire family that captures contemporary and traditional notions of identity. Alain de Botton has described the work as "a beautiful poetic work which is exemplary in the way it manages to turn information (of which we have so much, and which usually leaves us so cold) into art (which touches our hearts)".
Van der Beugel, through the use of ceramics and other enduring materials, such as concrete, continues to explore emerging areas of scientific research. He uses these intuitively familiar materials to humanise the data that these burgeoning institutions generate, so that changing ethical considerations can be understood contextually and universally. In 2015 he was artist in residence at The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and in 2016 artist in residence at York University's epidemiology department.
Currently, van der Beugel is working on two significant architectural projects; one confidential in the Netherlands and the other for the University of Cambridge. His work is held in numerous collections, most notable the V and A. Van der Beugel's most recent lecture was the 2015 Theo Scholten Lecture for the Sculptuur Instituut in the Netherlands.