Alumni Stories

Frank Nuovo

BS 86 Product Design

It seems as if Frank Nuovo has always been a rock star of the design world. He is founder and creative director of Design Studio Nuovo, founder and CEO of Datzing and chief of design at Atheer. Before that, he made a name for himself as founder, creative director and principal designer of Vertu (1997–2012), chief of design at Nokia (1995–2006), and designer and design director of BMW/Designworks USA (1986–1995).

At BMW/Designworks, he designed consumer electronics, medical instruments, consumer products and automotive products for Fortune 500 companies. After several years of working with Nokia, who had approached the company for design inspiration, Nuovo was invited to head Nokia’s design group. During his time at the mobile phone company, Nuovo led design strategy and innovations combining technology, usability and style with user-centered design. Nuovo helped Nokia achieve and maintain global leadership, capturing a market share at levels more than twice that of the nearest competitor. It was through his new company, Design Studio Nuovo, that Nuovo contracted with Nokia to serve as creative director and principal designer for his brainchild Vertu, Nokia’s luxury segment. Nuovo was the visionary behind Vertu during its defining years and had been shaping it since 1997. Nuovo led the team in establishing its style, products and brand. He left Vertu to give full attention to DSN. Now he is also part of Atheer’s team as chief of design, where he drives brand identity, UX, UI and industrial design.

His life’s work and story has been featured in publications such as The New Yorker, Wired, Fortune, Fast Company, Newsweek and Architectural Digest and on many television and radio shows. Nuovo’s work has been shown in museums internationally, including the Museum of Modern Art’s “Workspheres” (New York), the Neues Museum (Nuremberg, Bavaria) and the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. Nuovo’s design and innovation leadership has resulted in dozens of international awards for him and his associates at BMW/Designworks, Nokia, Vertu and DSN, including Red Dot Awards, iF Design Awards and International Design Excellence Awards.

An active lecturer, Nuovo has been invited to speak and lecture at countless venues across the globe, including the World Economic Forum, TTI Vanguard, Korean International Design Conference, Intel, Liz Claiborne, APAC Executive Leadership Forum in Singapore and Hong Kong, International Conference on Ergonomics and User Interface in Rome.

His involvement with ArtCenter did not end when he graduated in 1986. Nuovo served as alumni vice president and president, and he established millions in funding for ArtCenter’s Color, Materials and Trends Exploration Laboratory, which he envisioned and proposed. ArtCenter honored Nuovo with a Lifetime Achievement Alumni Award, presented him with a doctorate of science in recognition of his life’s work in industrial design and named him as an honorary trustee.

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