CLOSCA FUGA: A NEW CLASSIC THAT TURNS 10 YEARS
A decade ago, we transformed a sports safety accessory into a fashionable object mobilizing users around the world while promoting sustainable transportation. 2 million helmets sold worldwide, 8 international awards – including the prestigious Red Dot 2015 – and its presence in top museums such as the MoMa in New York or the Design Museum in London represent some of the milestones of this iconic design. On the paragraphs below, we unveil the design process of one of the most emblematic “Made in Spain” designs.
A CO-CREATION PROJECT
This project is a clear example of the importance of collaboration and teamwork. The Valencian start-up Closca sought to manufacture a foldable and practical helmet encouraging urban cycling. Although they had already developed a first version and some prototypes, it was key to partner with CULDESAC to find alternative solutions to turn this simple helmet into a safe urban accessory sexy enough for those potential consumers in search of sustainable mobility. Following that premise, our studio was in charge of redefining the product´s DNA, transforming a useful object into a desirable product for different users all over the world.
STRIPPING DOWN CLOSCA HELMET
As a source of inspiration, the project took into account the end users´urban lifestyle within the cities and the buildings where they live. From the iconic architecture of the Guggenheim Museum in New York, to the rationalist style of the products designed by Dieter Rams for Braun during last mid century, and the elegant and minimalist Apple´s products interfaces, the objective throughout this search was to understand how to generate an elegant but functional object and, above all, safe for the user.
“THIS PROJECT HAS BEEN ONE OF THE MOST COMPLEX DESIGN EXERCISES WE HAVE EVER DEVELOPED. NOT ONLY BECAUSE OF ITS TECHNICAL COMPLEXITY BUT BECAUSE OF ITS BOLD SIMPLICITY. AS DESIGNERS, AND UNLIKE WHAT MANY BELIEVE, OUR WORK IS NOT BASED ON ADDING LAYERS BUT THE OPPOSITE ACTION: WE APPROACH THE DESIGN PROCESS AS A CONSTANT COMMITMENT TO GET RID OF EVERYTHING UNNECESSARY UNTIL WE REACH THE BONES OF EACH PROJECT TO SHOW THE SOUL OF WHAT WE DESIGN”.
–PEPE GARCÍA, PROJECT DIRECTOR
The end user was a priority throughout this inspiration process: understanding their daily life, their habits, tastes and needs not only on an individual level but, fundamentally as part of the community. This helmet should be the helmet for many people and their multiple tastes and styles. The challenge was to be able to fit this general-use product and customize it according to the preferences of each consumer.
A THREE-STEP CREATIVE PROCESS
➀ We committed to generate an elegant but functional object and, above all, safe and adapted to many people, tastes and styles.
➁ First, we rethought the helmet as part of the clothing: closer to caps and hats and away from the speed image of sports competitions.
➂ We then developed an elegant and simple system made of three concentric moving rings with ventilation holes allowing the helmet to be folded and reduced in size by half and stored in a bag or briefcase.
The ring system allowed us to design a simple mechanism speeding the helmet storing in 5 seconds.
“WE POLISHED THE PRODUCT IN SUCH A SEAMLESS WAY THAT IT WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE TO MODIFY IT AGAIN TO IMPROVE IT. AND THAT WITHOUT A DOUBT IS MERIT OF THE COLLECTIVE WORK OF THE DESIGNERS, TECHNICIANS AND THE BRAND”.
–PEPE GARCÍA, PROJECT DIRECTOR
A DESIGN CLOSER TO FASHION THAN SPORTS
By intelligently adapting to the real citizen´s needs, we challenge two major drawbacks of conventional helmets: their volume, which makes transportation difficult when not pedaling, and their aesthetics. As a result, we balanced beauty and functionality to elevate the urban cyclist’s experience.
Although the fact that the helmet is currently sold at the MoMA in NY is a great professional achievement and an important international showcase, for the studio, the greatest reward of this product is its tangibility: withnessing everyday real people on the streets cycling and wearing this helmet.