Interaction Students presented at Nokia

Second year Interaction Design Master students Haishu Zhang and Rahul Sen presented their third semester project Only Planet "Products as Stories" at Nokia Design&s heandquarters in Espoo, Finland on Friday February 8.

The Nokia Only Planet Umeå project involved an entirely new approach to Only Planet. It was the first time the OP project was run with an Interaction Design class and as such required a re-interpretation of the design brief and project deliverables.

Only Planet is Nokia Design&s global student collaboration program with universities and design schools, aimed at uniting the business world, academia and students to work on themes and methods of common interest. Typically, an OP project would involve design students to first do research on their local and national culture - "on the street" (commercial values), "society" (family values), and "culture" (aesthetic values) - then convert these findings into product designs. This time, Nokia representatives Mike Kruzeniski (UID alumni) and Juha Hemanus, wanted to brief the project differently, but stay connected to the spirit of past OP projects. Instead of product designs the brief shifted towards communication experiences.

The brief for the project called for the students to propose a new method to connect people across distances - without the use of voice or text - informed by communication behaviors and trends identified from their culture. We wanted the students to be able to connect to Nokia&s mission but sidestep current mobile product trends and technologies, focusing instead on observed human behaviors to influence their designs.

Read more about the project at