id.real, a design studio  inspired by their users

@Luciana Trigo

id.real is an unusual design studio that just opened its doors in Madrid. We had the luck to talk with the CEO Anouk de Lesparda.

The one-hour programed interview we had with Edgar Gonzalez (the B.in Design director), turned out to be a three-hour guided visit and a great conversation! In this blogpost, we will try to summarize some of the most interesting parts: what makes id.real so real? their offices and the way they were designed and their vision of design. Let’s get started!

Anouk de Lesparda is a French designer that lived mainly between Europe and Asia. Living for the past 10 years in Shangai, Anouk was asked to move to Madrid to open id.real in 2015. “Madrid is an interesting hub to connect the creativity of America, Europe and Asia and I have an International profile which enables me to work in an easier way with all these markets,” Anouk remarks.

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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 old town, 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. These offices where created for people with specific working needs, while being mindful of the historical heritage of the building.

These offices were designed by a multi-task 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 last name”, a design focused in people, their needs and their experiences. Design matters 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? Edgar mentioned that “today, what we know as ‘product design’ is no longer just physical, but digital as well (Air Bnb, Uber, Spotify are digital products), which brings new challenges for designers. Therefore, it’s not enough to be a product designer. Designers today require new skills and abilities for digital environments”, Edgar says. In that sense, ‘hybrid’ profiles that are able to connect and work with design challenges are much needed, and id.real shares this vision.

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In the “experiential area” with some website wireframes 

Wondering about their name? Well, it’s inspired in “Innovation and Development” but with an additional element: reality. They aim to see their ideas turned into real life, “because it’s the only way to really know if your proposal works” Anouk states. This means they have to cover the whole process: from research, user needs and action phases to conceptualization and implementation or even construction.

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

To cover all these phases, id.real is organized in 4 areas of expertise that allow them to create everything, from the bigger interior spaces to the intangible experiences people are exposed to:

1)  Spatial: interior, intervention in the spaces where people spend the most part of   their lives such as offices, homes, shopping areas, markets, etc.
2) Physical: 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 that will sponsor emerging artists and will nourish the team with inspiration and beauty.
All these departments interact in different ways according to 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