Conceptual design as a driver for innovation in offshore ship bridge development
Development and innovation of new designs for ship bridges on modern offshore vessels is a considerable challenge for engineering and design professions. The purpose of this paper is to investigate how innovations in ship bridge design may benefit from design competency in the fields of e.g. industrial and interaction design.
The Ulstein Bridge Concept (UBC) research project imply that using a strategic focus on design in a conceptual design process in front of a traditional development process has led to a radical, award winning vision of a future offshore ship bridge, acknowledged by the maritime industry of Norway. Through active participation and observation in the project by the author, research findings suggest that applying design based methods and techniques in some core activities described as domain insight, interpretation, translation and presentation, support the overall process of doing innovation. Additionally this conceptual design process produce externalizations that foster and communicate a future design vision, which further support the important design discussions between the various disciplines of designers, engineers, management, and users needed in order to fully understand the requirements for future commercialization. The conceptual design proposals presented in the UBC project have initiated several patents, ideas for new products ready for launch, and a complete new understanding of how to design for the mariners work environment on a ship bridge.