Paavo Pietola | Chief Industrial Design Officer

Internationally awarded designer who’s multidisciplinary work encompasses a broad range of consumer and industrial products.

More than 16 years experience in managing positions within fields of design and mobile technology.

His designs have been sold more than 100 million units worldwide.

Born in northern Finland Oulu, he started his training in Florence, Italy at Istituto del’Arte e del Restauro di Firenze, studying drawing, painting and art history. Learning the demanding and laborious technique of classic drawing in Florence’s rich classical art scene has deeply influenced Paavo’s way of working and thinking.

From Italy he returned to University of Oulu, to start architectural studies combined to industrial design. The combination of classic art training and seeking new means of expression in architecture and design worked well and soon he was hired and creating designs for construction.

Seeking inspiration from opposites; classic and new, made him return to Italy, this time in Venice at Istituto Universitario del Architettura di Venezia. Finalising the advanced studies, he developed a personal mode of combining industrial design and architecture. A work mode learnt in Florence; laborious layering of details and style.

Soon after returning to Finland he co-founded his first design studio. The studio grew fast due to a rare combination: design and engineering with equal weight and importance. During these years of booming mobile industry Paavo designed for Nokia one of the most sold phone ever, the model 3010. Working as project designer he was guided by the Nokia design team. For Ericsson he designed the T-66, the smallest phone so far.

After three years the two founders sold the studio to a larger company that in turn, was soon acquired by Flextronics. With big resources enabled by the giant company that served most of the phone manufacturers, Paavo and his design team became arguably the most productive design studio for mobile devices in the world, creating thousands of concepts, hundreds of designs and dozens of products to the markets.

Working in a big organisation has its benefits but when offered a chance for a management buy out, Paavo did not hesitate to change for a bigger freedom and a chance to create new. The new company was focusing to wireless technology and soon became one of the biggest design company in Finland. After finding an investor for creating customised wireless devices for consumer brands, Paavo opted out to change for bigger freedom and founded yet another studio with broader focus.

After a year of intense creating for broad range of products from fitness equipment to industrial instruments, Paavo met a team of ex-Nokia executives who wanted to go further in customising wireless devices for consumer brands. Thus a new company was established. Now it was time to dive into watches and wearables. The company worked with Swiss watch industry to find a way to create meaningful designs that would incorporate the watch and the smart watch. Again it was about combining the classic and the new.

Soon the company found good clients and became a specialist in tailored devices but not for the consumer brands but other technology companies. Thus it was time to move on.

During the last three years Paavo has been feasting with a broad focus encompassing electric bikes, furniture, watches, mobile phones and electric boats. During this period Paavo met Steve and was immediately struck by Steve’s explosive and courageous creativity that does not seem to know limits. As Paavo has been exploring the unknown for all his career, it is a perfect match with Steve’s visions; looking far out and looking for unknown while keeping the other foot on the solid technology and appreciation for engineering.