Lúcid Design Agency was founded in 2013 in Terrassa (Barcelona) by Pol Andrés Fantoba and Marc Fabra. This creative and strategic agency offers product design, digital products, branding, and experience services to businesses that seek to bring about positive change for the planet and for society. The company has a presence in Spain, Germany, and China, where it has an office in Shanghai. Their work has won more than 40 prestigious international design awards such as the Red Dot Design Award, the iF Design Award, the German Design Award, and the European Product Design Award.
We chatted with Pol Andrés Fantoba, Co-Founder & Managing Partner of the agency, who talked to us about the agency's work methodology, values, approach to design, areas of work, projects, and challenges facing the business.
Interiors from Spain: How did your agency come into being?
Lúcid Design Agency: Our agency is the brainchild of two good friends who share a passion for design and a desire to create a project with a distinctive aesthetic approach and a design that has a positive impact at the core.
Interiors from Spain: Tell us about your team and how you work.
Lúcid Design Agency: We have a team of around 30 people, divided into three specialist areas: research & experience, industrial design, and digital design. Research and experience are dedicated to user-centered research aimed at generating insights that will later be transferred to the product design stage. The product design department designs and develops products, leaving them ready for the manufacturing stage. And finally, the digital department, which focuses on experience design, works on digital product design, giving physical products that digital layer that allows for a stronger connection with the user.
Interiors from Spain: What values do you want to transmit?
Lúcid Design Agency: One of the key values that makes us stand out is the charisma and enthusiasm we put into our projects. We’re passionate about our work, and this is something we transmit through our projects and the clients we work with.
Interiors from Spain: What vision do you have of design, and what is its ultimate goal?
Lúcid Design Agency: We’re an innovation agency focused on design that has a positive impact. At Lúcid we’re convinced that design is a powerful tool for transforming the world. Our designs always seek to have a positive impact, both for users and for the planet. On a daily basis our goal is to help companies to successfully tackle complex design challenges in unique ways.
Interiors from Spain: You work in the fields of industrial and digital design. Do you treat them as different disciplines, or do you also offer users experiences that bring them together?
Lúcid Design Agency: One of our strengths is our Phygital approach. For us this is where all our specialist areas converge and work together. Industrial design is one of our core services—the specialty we started out with—but thanks to digital design we can offer products that are much better adapted to the aspirations of today's users.
Our Phygital products link the two worlds, taking advantage of the potential offered by both the physical and digital, and this enables us to create truly impactful experiences.
Interiors from Spain: How do you apply innovation to your projects?
Lúcid Design Agency: We could talk about a lot of things that influence Lúcid's results in terms of innovation. But to highlight just one, we were the first product design agency in Spain to obtain the Innovative SME seal and to be certified under the UNE 166002 Innovation Management System.
Interiors from Spain: One of the most recent big trends in marketing is the Phygital experience. What is it? As experts in this field, what do you offer your clients? Tell us about some specific “Phygital” projects you’ve worked on.
Lúcid Design Agency: At Lúcid we say we’re not only designers, we’re in the experience business. It’s simply that these experiences are developed using design as the main tool, regardless of whether they’re physical or digital.
Phygital is the point at which these two worlds unite and where our areas of intelligence and knowledge culminate. Speaking of experiences today, in any sector and for any consumer segment, Phygital solutions and experiences are the present and the future, and this is where the greatest opportunities to create rich distinctive experiences lie.
One example is the recently completed “Sloowy” project. This is Spain’s first beach sharing app. We designed the whole experience: the physical product (self-contained beach huts, furniture), and the digital experience on the app, developing the technology that makes it possible to rent beach furniture for a period of time.
Interiors from Spain: You’ve had some experience in “servitization” with companies. What is servitization, and how can it help to create new circular economy business models? Have you used this approach with clients?
Lúcid Design Agency: For us, servitization is one of the circular economy strategies that all companies should put on the table, because it's an opportunity to lengthen the life cycle of products and is a good fit with the changing consumer mentality.
In our podcast on servitization, we offer some tips for companies that want to develop this line of business. The most important thing is to treat it as another business area, one with its own strategy that's different from other product lines.
All companies are susceptible to servitization, although some certainly have more need of it than others. Consumer electronics, for example, is one of the sectors in which this option is becoming increasingly widespread, and it's very comforting for us to see that this sector is choosing this path.
Interiors from Spain: By the way, what do clients look for when they contact your agency, and what type of relationship do you have with them?
Lúcid Design Agency: Clients who contact Lúcid are usually looking to make a product or service idea a tangible reality. As well as helping them to achieve this, at Lúcid we offer very personalized support, creating alliances with our clients based on understanding, transparency, and enthusiasm for the projects we work on.
Our mission is to help ambitious companies and organizations that aspire to change the world and need someone to help them along the way.
Interiors from Spain: You’ve won more than 40 international design awards. What’s your secret?
Lúcid Design Agency: One of our biggest assets is our amazing team. We believe that together we’re able to look at our projects from different angles: our researchers are firmly focused on the end user, our designers contribute aesthetic criteria, and our engineers are the people who are capable of making those designs a reality. The sum of this WHOLE is what in the end translates into awards for design that we never expected to receive.
Interiors from Spain: What projects do you find most motivating?
Lúcid Design Agency: Every project has its challenges and opportunities, and it's hard to choose between them because luckily everything that comes our way is really interesting. But if we had to choose, we'd choose all those projects that have a positive impact, and fortunately we're seeing more and more of them each day.
Interiors from Spain: You have an office in Shanghai, China. When did it open? How do you approach working with Chinese clients? What projects are you currently working on in this market?
Lúcid Design Agency: We have a supply chain office in China for the management of the industrialization and mass production projects we work on, because one of the services we offer our clients is help with product manufacture.
However, we strongly believe in and want to promote reshoring and to help our companies to rebuild manufacturing chains in Spain and Europe. So, in the future we would like to be able to resolve our presence in China with regard to this issue and focus on Europe.
Interiors from Spain: Among your most recent projects and designs, which have been the most innovative and which have given you the greatest satisfaction? And why? Any with an international client?
Lúcid Design Agency: It's difficult to choose just one project, as all of them have something special for us.
For example, we love textile projects, such as the various backpacks we've designed for different brands, because of the versatility we achieve in each one of them. “Phygital” projects like “Sloowy,” “Telefónica,” “Circulr,” and “i2cat” are also especially motivating for us, because this is where all the agency's specialized departments work together, and working together as a team is really inspiring. But we also love industrial design projects such as Bellota and Vigar, whom we've been working with for 10 years. We've already designed several products for them, creating a unique visual language for the brand, achieving major milestones, and making it a best seller on Amazon for years. The truth is, we try to understand exactly what challenge the company is facing in each project, and this motivates us to all work together and focus on achieving results.
Interiors from Spain: What are you working on at the moment? And what will the challenges be over the next few years?
Lúcid Design Agency: We have a number of different projects that keep us happy and motivated in the e-health, mobility, and retail sectors, with start-ups that have some very promising projects, as well as circular design projects.
Our challenge for the next few years is to make circular design the only acceptable way to design products.