In this paper we discuss our experiences with doing field studies as part of the design process when developing a new ship’s bridge design. A preliminary observation in our work is that the individual designer benefits greatly from having been at sea, and that the sharing of the insight from the individual who has done field studies to the rest of the design team can be challenging. This observation suggests that design teams should allow key team members to experience ship environments firsthand. We also suggest that field studies should be planned with consideration to how it can influence design reflection both during the field studies and in the design studio. We call this approach model for field research in design and propose that it includes a focus on 1) data mapping, 2) experience at sea and 3) on-site design reflection.