There’s probably one in a closet at your house. This folding bench has one goal: to be discreet, easy to store and out of the way. The Compact shows how simplicity is sometimes the key to success. This product, marketed by the Alicante house Casa Vigar and designed by the Barcelona-based agency Lúcid, records online sales records and is present in 20 countries on five continents. It has been an Amazon Best Seller for four years — since its launch in 2018, with a price starting at €15.50…
Sign up to continue reading
Read without limits
There’s probably one in a closet at your house. This folding bench has one goal: to be discreet, easy to store and out of the way. The Compact shows how simplicity is sometimes the key to success. This product, marketed by the Alicante house Casa Vigar and designed by the Barcelona-based agency Lúcid, records online sales records and is present in 20 countries on five continents. It has been an Amazon Best Seller for four years —since its launch in 2018, with a price starting at 15.50 euros— and has collected several awards, including the Red Dot Design Award, considered the Oscar of world design.
“At the end of the day, what you have to do is put yourself on top, but the idea is to make it more beautiful and durable,” explains Marc Fabra, co-founder and director of design at Lúcid. At Casa Vigar they already had a product in their catalog that, according to Fabra, was in no way different from Chinese stools. The job then consisted of creating something with which to make a difference to competitors.
Pol Fantoba, managing director of Lucid and co-founder of the company along with Fabra, points out that in China the concept of folding benches for the home was already popular, but that the designs were all “very basic and without any contribution”. For this reason, they decided that Compacto should be a kind of 2.0 stool.
Fabra and Fantoba founded Lúcid in 2013 because they share a creative and entrepreneurial philosophy. They have known each other since they were children, they both grew up in the same neighborhood of Sant Cugat del Vallès and met again years later. The friends ventured into the same world —Fabra was a designer and Fantoba, a design engineer— and decided to do a project together. The most important thing was to differentiate itself from the author’s work, which prioritized the beautiful to the detriment of the technical, says Fabra.
Ten years later, his agency has a team of 20 people including designers, engineers and researchers. He specializes in selling his services to companies looking to improve their designs. Casa Vigar, in the beginning, was just another client.
During the process of working on the Compact, the team came up with the idea of adding hinges that could be folded away and hidden. This desire for minimalism and cleanliness is in keeping with the recent trend in the interior world to create austere and uncluttered spaces. This is how Fabra recognizes it: “We wanted to follow this aesthetic that prevails in the market today and with which we feel very comfortable”. Fantoba shares his colleague’s sentiment: “I knew the design we did was innovative, but the sales level was unexpected.”
In addition to the commercial success, it was also unexpected for Fabra to receive awards thanks to Compacto. In addition to the Red Dot Design Award, it won the European Product Design Award, the German Design Award and the Iconic Design Award. “All this is curious… Something that a priori doesn’t seem like the idea anymore sexy“, to recognize.
The excellent results of the Compact led Casa Vigar to order a whole collection of products with this same design language. On their website you can find, in addition to the stool, boxes and other folding objects with a similar style. “Everyday products are ultimately one of the reasons we design. We are very clear that what we want is to democratize design by adding value to everyday products”, says Fantoba.
In addition to being a growth lever for Lúcid – a company recently acquired by Jungle21 – the Compact continues to be a source of pride for its creators. Fantoba sums it up with an anecdote: “One thing that fills me is that where I live, in the window of a small hardware store, there is always one. That’s what’s cool, which is design that breathes honesty and simplicity. Minimalist and rational as we like”.