Nuovo fails to connect people in D&AD lecture

I felt compelled to write regarding head of Nokia design Frank Nuovo’s D&AD Icons lecture. As part of a series of lectures intended to be inspiring, the Nuovo lecture left nothing but disappointment and regret. It was an incredibly big missed opportunity that fell well short of what you would expect from a D&AD President-endorsed lecture.

We thought there would be playful interaction with the audience, exploring local networks and Bluetooth technologies – anything that would really engage the audience and be a memorable example of the Nokia mantra of ‘connecting people’.

Unfortunately, I fear the presentation lost people slowly like a dripping tap instead of keeping the audience contained in the Nokia think-tank. It felt like several internal documents cobbled together, devoid of the production values that we attune to the Nokia brand.

Nuovo is a charming man; no doubt a real people person, who you could tell gets the best out of his global team. I also do not, and would not, dispute that Nokia and its efforts have shaped the market place and greatly influenced its competitors.

It appears that the presentation was not vetted by D&AD President, Dick Powell. I imagine that 90 per cent of the presentation is available on the Nokia website.

There was no recognition of what an honour it is to be invited to present a lecture, and to tell an audience of 200 that the presentation was a couple of years out of date a third of the way through certainly left me bemused. The lecture tried to show too much, with the most interesting points coming in Nuovo’s sign-off regarding Magic-Touch technology. ‘Here we go,’ I thought, only for Nuovo to round up and proceed to the Q&A session.

So, am I bitter? Yes. We bought three tickets and spent £35 on a cab to get there. Then an hour and a half to get home. It certainly gave me plenty of time to reflect.

Michael Lenz, Creative director, Draught Associates, London EC2

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