Conclusion – BOREAL


A pilots chair for arctic going explorer vessels.

Boreal is a fully adjustable pilots chair with integrated air inflatable support pads, designed for both stability and support when breaking ice or experiencing extreme conditions.

Maritime traffic in the Arctic region is rapidly increasing. But there has been a huge increase in marine casualties in this region due to its extremely harsh environment and the severe safety challenges for ships’ navigation teams.

SEDNA will develop an innovative and integrated risk-based approach to safe Arctic navigation, ship design and operation, to enable European maritime interests to confidently fully embrace the Arctic’s significant and growing shipping opportunity…


In August I started out a project in collaboration with “Ocean industries design lab”, a research based design lab located at the “Oslo School of architecture and design” in Oslo.

Within the Ocean industries lab I  got the opportunity to be a part of “SEDNA” (Safe maritime operations under extreme conditions; the Arctic case) as an industrial design master student.

My expertise within design is industrial design and physical products, so my contribution to SEDNA would be a concept of a physical product located on the bridge of a arctic going ship.

Mapping & research:



After approximately a month of mapping and doing research to simply understand ships, arctic, ice and maritime design we got the chance to visit an ice breaker located in helsingborg, Sweden.


Human factors & physical ergonomics:

To better understand the physical space of the bridge, I did a topical lecture about physical ergonomics and human factors.

The presentation with it`s content can be read here:

Human factors & Ergonomics



Bridge design

Motion rig

To get inspiration for the design of the pilots chair, I decided to make a motion rig to better understand how being at sea feels. The motion rig`s intention was to test out different theories on stability and support.

If you want to read more about the rig, you can find it here:

Motion rig

How the rig was built can be found here:

Metal, wood and welding

Concept development:

The concept development of the chair started with lots of sketches and ideas in terms of both functionality and styling.

More about concept development throughout the process can be found here:



After the first solid concepts, I decided a direction and detailing started. That process can be found in the post below:

Product development


It has been extremely important to understand the context the pilot bridge will be placed in, so I did some research on what kind of environment the bridge is.

Different bridges and what differences you can find within the bridges is below. Here you also can read about one of the major parts of the chair, the seating:


Before showing off the different components of the chair, my “client” and how I have been working with the styling and aestethics to meet this client can be found in this post:

Bridge design


Final product:

In the posts below the final product is presented. In the first post I have showed all the functionality found in the chair, and in the blogposts underneath I go through the different parts.


Armrest explained

Backrest, footrest and materials


Finally here you can read about the controller panel of the chair, which I have brought into this blog as an illustration on how it possible could have been done.

One day challenge

It has all in all been a great project to be a part of, and I am now super inspired to keep on working with maritime design. I think the complexity and all the different components you have to keep track of is both inspiring and motivating.

I have never designed a product with this kind of complexity when it comes to parts, functions, colors, materials and interactions. And I think the learning outcome has been huge in terms of dealing with complex products.

It`s no secret that my final design could have been better. I wish I had started the concept phase earlier so all the feedback I have gotten the last week could have been implemented in the final design.

The parts I wish I could have worked more with are specially:

  • The footrest – offer more functionality like length adjustment and angle of the footboard.
  • Stability within in the frame – I would want to add more stiffness to the frame, and the most crucial place is where the backrest is mounted.
  • The fabric – The part that needs a lot of attention is the fabric part of the chair. I want to start all over again in the design of the seating, and make the support pads better.

I am very satisfied with the armrests and I like how the backrest is made into a stiff and stabile part which appears both light and inviting.





Sedna project:


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