What the Italian design duo does to get out of a creative mind block.
Designer Paolo Lucidi and Luca Pevere. Photographed by Fabrizio Cicconi.
Known for using unusual techniques and aesthetic choices, product and furniture designers Paolo Lucidi and Luca Pevere do not shy away from a challenge. After meeting during their first year at Milan Polytechnic while attending courses in Industrial Design, each went on to apprentice with established Italian-based design studios. In 2003, two came together to collaborate on their first projects. By 2006, they founded their eponymous studio, LucidiPevere, now based in Udine, Italy.
Lucidi and Pevere have gone on to work with iconic European brands such as Ligne Roset, Foscarini, and Hem, among many others, while their designs have continued to win numerous industry awards.
LucidiPevere’s Underline collection by Stylex is a multi-use seating solution of upholstered stools, task chairs, and occasional seats that seamlessly transition from dining areas to conference rooms to executive offices, and beyond.
GRAY recently connected with Lucidi and Pevere to ask a few questions regarding their role as designers, and to offer some advice to others on how they work through a creative mind block...
LucidiPevere’s Aplomb Large for Foscarini is a concrete light fixture suspended by a self-supporting cable.
1. What is the best part of your job?
Lucidi: My first glance at the prototype. There is always something magical in that moment. In a second, something imagined becomes real. Some projects need months or years to become maquettes or prototypes. A moment before seeing it, I always feel a mix of fear and thrill to welcome my new baby.
Pevere: Starting a new project. Although, I both love it and hate it at the same time. You have to “clean” your mind after something is completed just a moment or a day before. It’s always very exciting, especially if the typology is completely different from the previous one. The highlight for me is when I get to sketch a new design because I can do it everywhere—outside in the front of the garden, at my desk at home, or in the office. The sketching process can be short if you have a flash of inspiration or it could be lengthy, sometimes lasting for weeks.
Sketch of two pieces from LucidiPevere’s Underline collection by Stylex.
2. How do you get out of a creative mind block?
Lucidi: I usually give up the work for a while and do something else. I try to forget the project by cooking, playing sports, spending time with family, or simply working on another project. [The distraction] often helps me to find the right concept, but when that doesn’t happen, I sketch all day long, for days, weeks, filling my sketchbooks.
Pevere: Interesting question! As you can imagine, there is not a single answer because creativity is not a linear process. Sometimes I find myself banging my head against the table or the wall after hours of concentration and silence. The only thing I can do to get out of it is to distract my mind by doing something different, switching to a different project/client, walking out for a coffee, or — when I have time — letting the project settle. It’s strange to say but in some cases “not thinking” is much more productive than “thinking.”
3. What’s the most exciting project you’ve worked on in the past year?
Lucidi: There are some products we designed many years ago that are still important to our career and for our clients. Some of them, after more than 10 years are still published and generate considerable income for the company. Oko and Underline for Stylex are our most recent designs and we are very happy with the quality and comfort they provide. We anticipate that they will be included in our “best of” list in years to come.
Pevere: Usually the most recent is always the most exciting, it's like a newborn!
Oko, for example, has been exciting for many reasons: we designed a
comfortable, compact, seating option for Stylex who was able to perfectly
interpret our designs down to the smallest intentional wrinkle. I personally think that upholstery design projects can be the most difficult because somehow you have to be able to convey a feeling. With Oko, we achieved our goal of a ‘warm and welcoming’ design. When we received the first pictures of the prototype from Stylex, it was the best surprise — it was our designs come to life without us being in the U.S. A good work of communication.
Designed by LucidiPevere for Stylex, Oko is a stylish and sustainable lounge chair inspired by the curves of a cocoon. Available September 2023.
For more information on LucidiPevere visit their website.