Former SVP of Design, Todd Wood speaks of his time at BlackBerry

By Bla1ze on 7 Aug 2014 03:28 pm EDT

Although some folks might not be familiar with his name, Todd Wood was one of the driving forces behind design at BlackBerry from 2006 to 2014. Chances are, the device you're holding right now was influenced by him. While Todd is no longer with BlackBerry having left in June, 2014, he's still an Industrial Designer based out of Toronto, Canada and recently sat down with The Canadian Design Resource to discuss his work at BlackBerry, Nokia Design, where he thinks design is heading, what he is doing now and who he has been working with recently.

Much like Todd's interviews he gave while at BlackBerry, this one offers a nice look at how things were done at BlackBerry during his time there, how the company felt about design and how BlackBerry became heavily invested in design planning as part of their mission to create some innovative products with BlackBerry 10. He even dips into his thoughts on Apple and Samsung design, noting 'Apple design is exceptional, but it's also antiseptic and irreverent.' while 'Samsung products tend to be soft, 'plasticy', and banal, lacking in character.'

The interview is a great read, so if you've not caught yet, be sure to head on over to The Canadian Design Resource and give it a look. For me, one of the key takeaways was that even though Todd is no longer with BlackBerry, he left in place by his words, a talented, seasoned and adaptive design team and he's confident they'll do well.

Read the full interview with Todd Wood

Thanks, Tenille!

Reader comments

Former SVP of Design, Todd Wood speaks of his time at BlackBerry


Interesting interview...just goes to show the amount of planning and work that goes into designing each and every device.

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it does, and at some times too much time. The 9900 was ready and done before os 6 even was released but they didn't want to release it until OS 7. 9900 would have had so much more attention if it came out with os6 vs os7.

EDIT: this is knowledge of internal due to me working there and having a cousin in the engineering team that designed the 9900.

The 9900 was released with OS 6.x - recall that Boom Boom Pow Video of BBOS6 just before 9900's launch?!

7.1 debuted about 2-4mths after launch and yes this is in Canada.

 BlackBerry Z30  If it Don't Make Dollars, It don't Make Sense 

Great article! It was nice to read about his thought processes and get a glimpse behind the scenes.  I especially liked the quote under his picture, "...and design things that wear in, not out."

BlackBerry's industrial designs have always been top notch, even when their device only had 128MB app space.

Posted via CB10 with Z30STA100-5/

Good read. He sounds legitimately proud of his (and BlackBerry's) work in design.

Funny that he has the same criticisms (and admirations) as us about Apple and Samsung

Great read,great career!!! My passion is designing whether it be houses or gardens,people love you when you offer them a solution to their needs, whatever they might be,enough said.

Couldn't have said it better, my friend.

Swiped via CB10 with my T-Mobile USA (Only T-Mo rep still pushing  ) new  BlackBerry Z30 (STA100-5), son! The Thor's Hammer of phones! Member of "Club Z30 "..... the most exclusive club in mobile. Once you go BlackBerry, everything else is wack-berry! #longestsignatureeverthatishortenedabit

I've taken screen shots of the hub and main screen and loaded them onto my 9850, and view it full screen just to see what BlackBerry 10 would look like on it... what a beautiful sight. I love my Z10, but the 9850 looks so cool, and the screen shot is just the right aspect ratio to really get a feel for it. I don't think that a 9850 like device running OS10, would be a good selling device. But that's just my thoughts. To me the Z10 is the optimal size as a phone... but that's just me.

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I had the 9850, but I always thought it was so bland, too rounded, and boring looking. The white Z10 however is beautiful. I like how the glass and glass bezel is still black, but the rest is all white.

Since then, I have moved to the Z30, but the Z10's design is much better IMHO.

Haha, oh man... I was wondering if anyone else noticed that as well.

Truly a great read. Thank you for posting this.

Nice interview BUT couldn't get "reader" mode to kick in with Q10, scrolling back and forth and side to side made reading the interview laborious.

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Thanks Todd for the brilliant designs. :)

Posted via CrackBerry 10 (CB10) application using my BlackBerry Q10.

What a respectable man. A true spirit built on classic knowledge with a name: style.
Very recognizable thoughts in a world of ever lasting contradictions: hard and soft, light and dark,... His world also.
As he tends to go back to basics, we BlackBerry users and lovers are grateful for his work.
Blackberry Z10 is more exclusive than Apple or Samsung since we see these labels more often rather than our awesome and brilliant smartphone around.
Why is there no more room in a market place where only two can survive? This idea is not an ecosystem, it's a waste. 


When you think of it, the sleek Z series, iconic Q series, impressive Porsche design & upcoming Passport BlackBerry IS the leader when it comes to design.

Sent from my BlackBerry Z30

Wow, he helped design the NOKIA 8800. One of my, if not my favourites ID phones.

My fav BlackBerry device was the 9780 for its Form factor and the 9800. There's just something about a slider that works well for me.

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