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April 29, 2008

NOKIA DESIGN EVENT: “Everything we do starts with people”

LONDON, England – We’re in Central London today at the first ever Nokia
Design Event. The doors to the new London Design Studio have been flung
open and we’re being treated to a day of insights into how Nokia
products come about. We’ll be reporting live all day, so check back to
see what’s coming up.

“Everything we do starts with people” was how chief designer Alastair
Curtis introduced the day. His opening presentation focussed heavily on
the one common denominator that runs across all Nokia design, the
people that influence it.

Highlighting that “people’s requirements and needs are different” citing the almost polar opposite needs of someone who lives and works in New York versus someone who lives and works in central Africa.

With over 300 designers from 35 different nations, the Nokia Design team is as broad as it is deep. Alastair highlighted the importance of not just having different cultural influences, but different design disciplines as well. “In the last 10 years, a whole new world has come about that we’re playing with – the digital world”. This has provoked the need to have multiple disciplines as the job has evolved from designing objects to designing solutions. “It’s really exciting in terms of opportunities” Curtis said, “it changes our perspectives on how we’re designing, we’re now designing solutions”.

Alastair showed us how they might take an insight from the real world and turn it into a meaningful solution (something with instantly rung true with me at least). “When you meet someone and you have a phone, it’s natural to turn it face down”. Interesting, but how do you take that and turn it into a meaningful insight? Curtis reckons that by simply “switching the phone into silent mode when you flip it over” not only solves a genuine need and but advances the usability of the device. Design in action.

And there was us thinking it was all about being able to draw nice pictures of phones.

Stay tuned for more from the Nokia Design Event.