An Interview with Industrial Designer Ivan Luccion

Ivan Luccion is an industrial designer from Madison, Wisconsin Area. He has been recipient of the General Motors Fund Scholarship in Industrial Design from 2005 to 2007. As a child, he observed fondness to cars and their designs, which later in his life inspired him to go into the world of designing.

Ivan’s current work includes designing cycling helmets and other cycling accessories for the Bontrager brand. He enjoys sketching as he feels it’s one of the most easiest and quickest medium to communicate an original idea. We asked him a few questions about his work and insights. His replies follow.

Ivan Luccion

TechieTonics: Tell us a little about yourself, Where you’re from, where you work and why did you choose to do ID?

Ivan Luccion: I was born in Argentina but have lived most of my life in the United States. I currently work at Trek Bicycles and have been designing cycling helmets for the Bontrager brand for most of my time there.

To make a long story short, as a child I was attracted to cars and their shapes which led me to finding out that you could study/learn to design those cars by studying industrial design. Eventually I attended Brigham Young University (BYU) and received a degree in Industrial Design.

TechieTonics: What can you tell us about sketching and the design process in both – Bontrager Oracle helmet & Bontrager Specter helmet?

Ivan Luccion: I was quite new in the field when I was asked to design what became the Oracle helmet and its sibling helmet the Specter. I had/have a great mentor in Robert Perri and he encouraged me to move quickly from two dimensional sketch to a 3D sketch. Racing helmets can be quite complex to solve on paper, so transitioning from a 2D sketch and translating those sketched lines and ideas onto a 3D shape made the journey to the final form faster.

Bontrager Specter helmet

TechieTonics: How do you effectively use sketches as a designer?

Ivan Luccion: Since then, I’ve continued to sketch the forms to get the expression and main lines or negative spaces to create a composition, however I try to move quickly to 3D to verify that in the 3D form those lines still work.

Sketching though is essential to quickly illustrate and thus communicate an original idea.

TechieTonics: Do you agree with the notion, design will be the key feature in the next wave of sustainability?

Ivan Luccion: Design is a very broad filed, yet more often than not, a small part of all the parties involved in creating a product.

Some designers are assigned or are naturally drawn to work on only the aesthetics and others more on the technical side. However, since as designers we try to make a better product for the end consumer, whatever it may be, looking at sustainability and the overall life cycle of a product has the potential of improving the product and provide a good service to the consumer with a minimized negative impact after its services are no longer needed.

Bontrager Oracle helmet

TechieTonics: What do you think is the dominant factor that you take into consideration while designing your vehicles, architecture or feature?

Ivan Luccion: The product that I currently design is very particular. It is a protective device, yet goes on one’s head as a hat. It is both a tool and a fashion item. Just about everyone who tries on a helmet looks at themselves in the mirror. Through conversations with the riders, observational research and some empathetic research I learn about what the consumer needs are and figure out how we can provide a solution and go provide even more thatn what they believe they need. As I shape the product, I constantly think whether it will satisfy their needs, will it look good in context and will it provide the protection necessary.

TechieTonics: Transportation designing fits into the grand scheme of entrepreneurship, the only thing you know (while designing) is to create innovating, invigorating and problem solving solutions. How far I am correct is holding such a view?

Ivan Luccion: As a designer I think most of us designers design products with appropriate beauty and functionality for their end purpose, while also keeping in mind it’s manufacturability and business case. In this way, you can make a product that is appealing and sellable.

Ivan Luccion sketches_1

TechieTonics: There has been a lot of talk about “design thinking” lately. Did you ever think of gravitating towards this way of philosophy?

Ivan Luccion: At school I learned to design using “design thinking” and it is a great philosophy or method to find solutions.

TechieTonics: How would you envision the future of transportation? or what according to you would be the alternative vehicles that might change the way of transportation in the future?

Ivan Luccion: Due to new legislation and requirements for improved fuel efficiency, I believe that the lines between a car, motorcycle and bike will become more blurry. It will become more about transportation and not necessarily a style of vehicle, as we currently know it. Perhaps vehicles of different kinds will integrate better with each other to provide a more complete transportation solution depending on distance or environment.  New powertrains will give way to novel form solutions.

Ivan Luccion sketches_3

Quick bits:

TechieTonics: Which of your projects are you the most proud of and Why?

Ivan Luccion: Out of the current products on the market, I think I’m most pleased with the Bontrager Oracle. We were given a very aggressive timeline to design and bring the product to market and we were able to deliver.

TechieTonics: If you have power creation, what will you create?

Ivan Luccion: I still like to sketch car lines. It’s fun.

TechieTonics: Do you like to share anything before saying goodbye?

Ivan Luccion: I recently was able to mentor some students at my alma mater and had them design helmets. It was a fun experience. Here is a video:

And here is a story about it (a bit on the creative side, but nonetheless):

Ivan Luccion sketches_2

Ivan this has been a real pleasure! I can’t thank you enough on behalf of myself and TechieTonics for taking the time to sit with us today and enable us to learn more about you and your career. Please know that you are welcome back any time and we look forward to visiting with you again and seeing much more of your work in the future.

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