Blame Harry Potter for N-gage and other bad Nokia designs

N-gage, the new 7700 and more recent color-disasters – anyone else perturbed by the recent spate of bad designs from Nokia? Well since I am really bothered by these dysfunctional and not that interesting phones, I have been trying to figure out why Nokia has somehow given up on Finnish Design?

bq. Alongside durability and practicality, one of the central aims in designing everyday articles has been a high aesthetic standard. Back in the 1950s and 60s, design was Finland’s most important cultural export. Finnish design became a concept, one that has featured in the pages of this magazine many times in the past four decades.

But that is not all. Here is what Anne Stenros, a leading Finnish designer had to say.

bq. She believes that the great strength of Finnish design in the past flowed from the fact that the country lacked the kind of wealth found in some of the Central European countries or even Sweden. The starting point was healthy and good; everyone should be able to use design products. “Now we can again see signs that the hype of the early 90s – an excessive lavishness in materials and colours – has caused a backlash. The idea that design ought to be more democratic has been voiced. In my view, it would be healthy to talk about serial production of design – about a design economy.”

But the Nokia mystery was solved when I stumbled upon this article on BBC. Apparently the Nokia gurus are reading too much Harry Potter and are taking their design-ques from the flying wizard.

bq. “I have read all the Harry Potter books, including the last one. And when you read them with my kind of mindset, technology orientated, I always ask myself how we can implement that.” Yrjo Neuvo, Chief Technical Officer of Nokia mobile phones.

What more, the article goes on to say that …

bq. The ghostly moving people in framed pictures which deck Hogwarts’ staircases, and the mysterious pensieve which shows 3D images of memories are just some of the ideas he sees as a reality. Nokia have already developed a picture frame, available later this year, which lets people to beam images onto it directly from their phones.