The design practice of Lucas Rees

I’m a designer, programmer and maker of things from the Black Forrest area of southern Germany.
Building upon a broad artistic and technical backgound, I craft all sorts of (visual) stuff with passionate people who love what they do —like me. If I have to slap a label on my work, I like the term creative engineer (Gestaltingenieur), but I’d prefer for you to think of me this way; I’m not specialised in anything, meaning I’m specialised in everything. Basically I’m simply obsessed with form and function, texture and material.

For the last decade I’ve developed brands and built digital experiences mainly through my full time engagement at Wagnerwagner. This means two things;

First, pretty much all of the flashy commercial projects I’ve worked on since 2013 have been realised within the amazing team of said full-service design agency and it doesn’t feel right to put those center stage and in-depth on my personal website. They’re much better off at wagnerwagner.de.

Second, I’ve successfully developed brands and built digital experiences on a professional level for over a decade now. I know my shit.

Even though I’ve obviously had very limited capacities for assignments outside of that 9–to–5 job for a while now, I made it a habit to work on selected projects I consider worth supporting for idealogical reasons, the challenge or out of sheer curiosity once in a while.

This includes reforming the online survey tool used by the IFBG or Institut für Betriebliche Gesundheitsberatung (Institute for Company-related Health Consulting), supervising the promotional prelaunch phase of the European Motion Picture Association and assisting social start-up Tip Me with design direction during its early founding days.

Since I’ve been a student at the Freie Hochschule für Grafik-Design and Bildende Kunst Freiburg (Free University of Graphic Design and Fine Arts Freiburg, now part of Macromedia) from 2007 to 2012, my favourite commissions have always been those focused on or at least related to healthcare, sustainability, innovation, social good, education and/or culture.

Echoing this sentiment is Virtuelle Kultur e.V. (Virtual Culture), a German non-profit I found and run together with my former mentor Steffen Rümpler. The association is dedicated to exploring the impact of technology on society, especially in terms of the cultural sector, using design methods. Our prime objective is to contribute to the public dialog by developing exhibitions and documentations, crafting prototypes and designing virtual presentation formats.

Our most recent project »Durch die Augen einer Maschine« (With the eyes of a machine) addresses the current rise of artificial intelligence, particularly in the field of generative image processing.

Besides everything art, design and technology I have a deep passion for music. This not only led to a permanently growing record collection, a (far too rarely used) arsenal of MIDI controllers and synthesizers, but some joint design work with musicians like the Peaceful Sins and the Eyes Of Solace, too.

If you’ve read to this point (thanks) you might be thinking “That’s a hell of a lot of stuff pal” and you’re absolutely right. I do a shit load of things.

  • Do I do too much? Maybe.
  • Do I spread myself too thin? Probably.
  • Do I enjoy every little piece I’m working on, though? Abso–fucking–lutely.

To keep track of my numerous interests and endeavours I maintain a selfhosted personal blog, which acts as my public stream of consciousness. It’s an accumulation of research and random finds, a showcase for creativity as well as an archive of mundane moments in time and space somewhat relevant to me.

It’s currently beeing rebuild (I moved from Wordpress to Kirby CMS), but it’s already public anyways.