The Ulstein Group is a shipbuilding company best known for its exterior designs of sophisticated offshore ships. This shipbuilder now aspires to become the leading producer of the next generation of ship bridges. Thanks to DIP funding, they were able to launch a project that would look beyond the solutions currently available and develop a new, integral bridge concept based on the needs of modern users, new technology and future market opportunities.
A ship’s bridge is a highly complicated system with a large quantity of equipment that must be properly operated by the crew in demanding situations. This made it challenging for the designers to collect relevant data in order to create an entirely new concept. There were also a wide range of different parties involved in the project, so a method was needed to include everyone in the process.
AHO was involved in the project from the very start. Two designers visited a ship to conduct observations and interviews with the majority of the crew. This resulted in an extensive and systematic overview of bridge functions. Their findings were developed further during workshops attended by the designers, users and experts. A very large number of parties must work together to develop a bridge. To ensure a smooth process, system-oriented design methodology was used. This means that they included the systems around the product in order to gain a complete picture of what changes were needed.
Early on in the project, they also conducted a study of future technology, inspired by the automobile and aviation industry. The data collected was compared to the needs identified during interviews with users.
The design itself was carried out by four industrial and interaction designers, who carried out a significant amount of preparatory work in which they tested a range of different concepts. This included drawings, mock-up models and digital modelling. Adaptations were made during the process in response to user input.