The award-winning design studio, Cruz Creative Lab was established in 2017. The company’s focus is on design, research, and sustainability with a positive impact on the environment in mind for clients.
After winning the trophy design challenge competition out of 100 entries from 32 countries, Cruz Creative Lab started designing one-of-a-kind trophies for Extreme E.
Based in Montevideo, Uruguay where winter is coming, Mariano Piñeyrua, creative director of Cruz Creative Lab confirmed, “There’s a status quo about trophies. With our design, we did the opposite. We take trash and turn it into a desired object.”
The purpose of Cruz Creative Lab is to help companies generate good methods for handling recycled materials and generate less waste. Then a company can apply certain design processes to take those discarded materials and create new value through design and craftsmanship.
From the concept to reality, Cruz Creative Lab tries to achieve its goal by deciding on aesthetics, having a prototype to validate the design, and then giving the finished project to companies to manufacture the products.
This closes the circular economy of how unused materials can make a product. Cruz Creative Lab has a communication channel via smart labels with videos as well to teach companies and clients how to sustain the product. There’s a devotion to keeping the products as long as possible in the market before they reach recycling stages.
Cruz Creative Lab consists of a great multidisciplinary team. They adapt to the client. There’s first an analysis of the client brief. Then a team featuring an artist, 3D designer, communication specialist, graphic designer, and filmmaker collaborate to design the product for each project.
Mariano mentioned, “The most fulfilling part about this job is to create an innovative solution that contributes to the circular economy. Our aim is to enable the circularity of materials and products. Each part of the process is interesting. From the concept to brainstorming to getting creative, it’s all very expansive.”
When asked what do you enjoy most about the trophy design process, Piñeyrua proceeded, “It’s amazing because it’s the most creative one. You can make a bespoke and unique design. Each trophy has the same shape but the concept behind it changes to emphasize each Extreme E race. For instance, with the Desert X Prix in Wadi Rum, Alula, Saudi Area, we used sand. For the Ocean X Prix in Lac Rose, Sudan, we were able to incorporate the beach and plastic. We created this particular skin so to speak.”
Cruz Creative Lab is also working with Formula E, the single-seater series that only uses electric cars in their motorsport championship. Cruz Creative Lab took broken car carbon fibre pieces from the Red Hook circuit in Brooklyn, New York and brought them back to Montevideo, Uruguay. From there, Cruz Creative Lab was able to create a sculpture that conveys a sustainable message. Sustainability is at the centre of each step for the company. For Extreme E, the materials used for trophies are determined by the location of the race. Cruz Creative Lab uses a collection of plastic that is caught via nets in the oceans by the St Helena Extreme E ship. The materials are then recycled on-site. It’s a perfect example of circular sustainability.
The inspiration for the Extreme E trophy designs stems from Planet Earth and highlighting environmental problems. The inspiration has to be strong to get recognition. For Extreme E, Cruz Creative Lab used the Extreme E logo and made a 3D version of it. It can take 3 months to get the real polished version.
Mariano noted, “The best part of this job is the new challenges, creative process, designing for small and big companies, and giving the same love and passion to their projects. It doesn’t matter what size they are. The most important thing is about the company’s purpose. Then the hardest part is to overdeliver. We always aim to exceed the expectations of the client.”
Piñeyrua proposed to get involved with the motorsport industry because he’s a huge fan of F1. Mariano supports Ferrari. It’s mostly because of the car’s history and evolution over the years. Something we can all relate to as a community of Formula 1 and motorsport fans.
Mariano said, “I was inspired to work with Formula E and Extreme E because of their purpose to generate this technology for vehicles. Extreme E in particular because it combines everything with the off-road elements and racing in nature is incredible with electric SUVs in remote parts of the world. I loved the desert X Prix. It was like a Star Wars movie. I’m looking forward to the glaciers X Prix. I’m going to attend the race in Patagonia. I’ve been there a few times. I love the area and the natural environment.”
Extreme E’s race calendar is impressive. The next race, Arctic X Prix is in Kangerlussuaq in Greenland the weekend of 28-29 August. It’s going to be an exciting Extreme E season.
Here are Cruz Creative Lab’s social media links to follow their progress: Website, Instagram and LinkedIn. Can’t wait to see what happens next for this company!
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