When people are the mission of a ship – Design and user research in the marine industry

Markus Ahola, Pekka Murto, Steven Mallam

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The role of non-engineering design disciplines (such as industrial design and interior design) and their applications in the marine industry is vague. People, as “users” of a ship, are commonly utilized as a source of design input for non-engineering design disciplines. Differing types of people inhabit a ship simultaneously and have differing roles, expectations, experiences and purposes for the onboard environment and its design features. This paper reviews the role of design methods and usercentred design research in the marine industry. Focusing on passenger ship design concepting, it explores how the two main users of passenger ships, (i) the paying customers/passengers and (ii) the onboard crew can be brought into the ship design and development process. This paper discusses the significance of a user-centred design research approach in the marine industry and the challenges of integrating nonengineering design disciplines into marine engineering and shipbuilding processes. Several perspectives will be discussed through case examples, including topics on design management, transition from 2D to 3D modelling in concepting phases, design for passenger safety and crew work efficiency. As such, this paper examines a new direction for research and practical applications in marine engineering and shipbuilding.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMarine Design XIII
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 13th International Marine Design Conference (IMDC 2018)
EditorsPentti Kujala, Liangliang Lu
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jun 2018
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventInternational Marine Design Conference - Otaniemi, Espoo, Finland
Duration: 10 Jun 201814 Jun 2018
Conference number: 13


ConferenceInternational Marine Design Conference
Abbreviated titleIMDC
Internet address


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