id.real: A design studio inspired by users

@Luciana Trigo

We had the opportunity to speak with CEO Anouk de Lesparda, as well as Edgar Gonzalez, Director of the Bachelor in Design about the far reach of this innovative design studio.

id.real is an unusual design studio that just opened its doors in Madrid. We had the opportunity to speak with CEO Anouk de Lesparda, as well as Edgar Gonzalez, Director of the Bachelor in Design about the far reach of this innovative design studio.

The one-hour interview we had scheduled with Anouk de Lesparda, CEO of id.real, and Edgar Gonzalez, Director of the Bachelor’s in Design, turned into a three-hour guided visit and a great conversation.

Anouk de Lesparda is a French designer that has lived mainly between Europe and Asia. After spending the past ten years in Shanghai, Anouk moved to Madrid in 2015 to start id.real. “Madrid is an interesting hub to connect the creativity of America, Europe, and Asia, and I have an international profile that enables me to work in an easier way with all these markets,” Anouk tells us.

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Anouk de Lesparda standing in her office with her favorite slogan: “Be curious.”

id.real’s beautiful offices are located in Madrid’s historic center, in a protected old warehouse. These offices were designed to foster the flow of ideas, to encourage synergy and collaboration between teams and clients, and to allow inspiration to be part of all spaces. They were created for people with specific working needs, while being mindful of the historical heritage of the building.

These spaces were designed by a multifaceted team of artists, designers, and architects. This way of working leads to the “new” scope of design and id.real’s vision of it: a “design without a last name”—design focused on people, their needs, and their experiences. Design matters now more than ever.

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An area of id.real’s offices integrated with the factory’s old machine

We constantly hear that the world is more complex, interconnected, globalized… but, what does this mean in terms of design? “Today, what we know as ‘product design’ is no longer just physical, but digital as well (Airbnb, Uber, and Spotify are digital products), which brings new challenges for designers,” Edgar explains. “Therefore, it’s not enough to be a product designer. Designers today require new skills and abilities for digital environments.”

In that sense, ‘hybrid’ profiles that are able to connect and work with design challenges are greatly needed, and id.real shares this vision.

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In the “experiential area” with some website wireframes 

Wondering about their name? It takes inspiration from innovation and development, but with an additional element: reality. They aim to see their ideas become reality, because, according to Anouk, “it’s the only way to really know if your proposal works.” This involves an extensive process, starting with research, identification of user needs, planning action phases, conceptualization, implementation, and construction.  

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id.real’s teams: spatial, physical, experiential and sensorial

To cover all these phases, id.real is organized into four areas of expertise that allow them to create everything, from interior spaces to intangible experiences:

1)  Spatial: Interior design, intervention in the spaces where people spend the most part of their lives, such as offices, homes, shopping areas, markets, etc.

2) Physical: The design of objects and products.

3) Experiential: Brand development, visual identity, strategy, user experience (when the solution involves digital products such as apps and webs).

4) Sensorial: An in-house art gallery, for instance, that will sponsor emerging artists and will nourish the team with inspiration and beauty.

All these departments interact in different ways depending on the project. Regardless of the final outcome, for the Strategy and Research phase, they work in multidisciplinary teams that will discover the user insights that will define the real needs of the final user.  The team will redefine itself depending on the final concept, and will keep working together through prototyping and iteration.

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The brainstorm area