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Ulstein Bridge Concept



What if we could redefine the whole bridge environment and change everything from the room layout to furniture design, and from the fundamental interaction techniques to details on the screen? This is the scope for the researchers, designers and engineers developing the Ulstein Bridge Concept (UBC) project. Together we aim to create research and designs that can direct the development of the future ship bridges of offshore service vessels. More »

This project has been completed


ULSTEIN BRIDGE VISION™, the results of the research project Ulstein Bridge Concept (UBC), was presented today at ONS 2012 in Stavanger by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Trond Giske and head of marketing and innovation in ULSTEIN, Tore Ulstein. The bridge concept was developed in the maritime design laboratory at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO).

ULSTEIN BRIDGE VISION™ is based on the users’ needs and provides a safe and user friendly working environment. At the same time, the bridge provides forward-looking solutions the world has never seen before. Tore Ulstein says: “We have succeeded in our goal to develop a user friendly bridge with a simplified user interface, and I think that ULSTEIN BRIDGE VISION™ can be an innovation in line with the X-BOW ® hull line shape.” X-BOW is one of ULSTEIN’s signature products and has placed the company as a known international brand in ship design. Trond Giske emphasizes: “This is an outstanding example of a Norwegian company that stands out because of quality, unique products, innovative solutions and design.”

There is a comprehensive and highly experienced design and research team that works on the UBC project and which came up with the design of ULSTEIN BRIDGE VISION™. The team covers interaction design, industrial design, graphic design, furniture design, sound design, animation, ergonomics, electronics and software development. The team works in a design collaboratory at AHO that is digitally connected to a sister laboratory at Ulstein Power & Control. “Two years ago AHO started to focus systematically on the maritime sector to build a new research and educationally branch. ULSTEIN has been a wonderful partner in this work because they are able to take design thinking into their strategic processes at the highest level. This has made it possible to carry out an R&D process at a very high pace, with significant synergies between research and development,” says Kjetil Nordby, project manager for UBC at AHO. Tore Ulstein says: “The partnership with AHO has been stimulating from day 1 and the commitment they show is very inspiring for us in ULSTEIN.”

UBC’s pilot project, also carried out at AHO, was funded by the Design-driven Innovation Program (DIP) from the Norwegian Design Council. DIP aims to increase the level of innovation in Norwegian companies. “I am impressed by the professional effort AHO and the students have shown throughout the Ulstein project. Without this design expertise and process expertise ULSTEIN BRIDGE VISION™ would never had emerged. It is exciting to see how AHO successfully integrate design and research in innovation processes. AHO is obviously in front in combining these two”, says Skule Storheill, Director of R&D and innovation at the Norwegian Design Council. The Minister of Trade and Industry, Trond Giske says about the focus on design in ULSTEIN BRIDGE VISION™ and their participation in DIP: “This is precisely the type of products we looked for when the program was created, and this has been a very successful collaboration.”

The front bridge of the ULSTEIN BRIDGE VISION™.

The aft bridge of the ULSTEIN BRIDGE VISION™.

Video from the press conference where ULSTEIN BRIDGE VISION™ was presented will be published at www.ulstein.com.


ONS 2012
For almost 40 years ONS has been a broad-based international energy event, and a meeting place for everyone involved in the entire energy sector. The biennial event has been staged in Stavanger, Norway. The very first ONS exhibition in 1974 welcomed just 7 000 visitors. In 2012 more than 50 000 guests are expected.

Ulstein Bridge Concept (UBC)
Ulstein Bridge Concept is a collaborative project funded by the Norwegian Research Council’s MAROFF programme and the Ulstein Group. It consist of participants from the Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO), Ulstein Group, Kwant Controls and Aalesund University College (HiALS).The multidisciplinary team collaborates in making bridge concepts for advanced offshore ships of the future. ULSTEIN BRIDGE VISION™ is a result of the UBC-project. In addition to developing groundbreaking design, UBC is pushing design as a discipline forward through research. 

The project began in April 2011 and will run over three years. Two PhDs are made as a part of UBC. After one year of research, UBC have published two patents, four conference papers and one design protection.

The Oslo school of Architecture and Design
The Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO) is a specialized university and a leading international architecture and design school that provides edu¬cation within architecture, landscape architecture, urbanism and design. AHOs fields of knowledge focus on design in all scales, objects, buildings, urban areas and landscaping. AHO is organized into four institutes, and has approx. 600 students and 120 employees.

The Institute of Design is responsible for educational and research activities within industrial design and interaction design. The institute educates designers who shape and develop products, services and interactive experiences. Ulstein Bridge Concept is one of the research projects carried out at the Institute.

Ulstein Group has around 800 employees in eight countries and is headquartered in Ulsteinvik, Norway. Ulstein delivers products and services within in the areas of ship design, shipbuilding and power and control systems to the international marked of offshore ships. ULSTEIN has activity within four areas: Design & Solutions, Shipbuilding, Power & Control og Shipping.

In 2006 Ulstein delivered the first ship with the groundbreaking and environmentally friendly X-BOW® hull line design, Bourbon Orca. After the first flag ship was delivered, they have sold a total of 45 designs with X-BOW. The design is sold to 12 different ship owners to be built in ship yards in China, Dubai, Brazil and Spain, in addition to the building at their own ship yard in Norway.

Kwant Controls
Kwant Controls has been one of the world’s leading manufacturers of nautical controls and systems for ships for more than 70 years. The products delivered by Kwant Controls include their remote control system and indicators for all existing propulsion systems.

Aalesund University College
Aalesund University College has about 2000 students and 200 staff. The University College offers a wide range of study programs in business management, engineering, health care, fisheries and maritime trade.

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2 responses so far:

  1. Ed Verbeek says:

    I am not sure where I can post questions/remarks about the new bridge design, so I’ll just use this opportunity 🙂
    I am very impressed about your thinking, making use of the present posibilities and I very much want you to succeed.
    To succeed means that the bridge needs to work in the normal operating conditions: a (heavily) rolling and pitching ship where the operator has problems to stand and needs to find balance (including all the uncontrolled movements that this involves) Has attention been given to operating the equipment under these conditions? (the video show only North Sea during exceptional nice summer weather conditions 🙂 I know it is mentioned that the operator should be able to sit or stand as he likes, even during heavy seas, but in these conditions, whether sitting or standing, the operator makes a lot of relex movements, unplanned and uncontrolled, which should not trigger any response of the equipment, and is it hard to make deliberate, precisely controlled movements, if these are required to operate the equipment.
    In modern shipping, more and more attention goes to operating in a team environment. I know that for offshore supply vessel this is less of an issue (mostly the “old-fashion” one-man operations), but this might change in future. Have team operations, in the form of Navigator – CoNavigator (even in the form of a pilot at port approach), been a consideration in the bridge design?

    • Sigrun Lurås says:

      Dear Ed,

      Thanks a lot for your feedback and interesting remarks! We are definitely concerned with the operation of equipment under different weather conditions. As you suggest, in modern offshore shipping, especially the more advanced vessels used for complex operations, teamwork is very much an issue. We also address this in our project. Please feel free to contact our project manager Kjetil Nordby directly if you have further questions.

      Best regards,
      Sigrun Lurås, project member, the Ulstein Bridge Concept

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