The LKAB Mining Project

2014 Design for User Experience

10-week term project in collaboration with LKAB and Atlas Copco


The objective was to identify relevant design opportunities based on insights gained from on-site research and participatory observations. The project was a joint collaboration between the APD programme and the mining company LKAB and Atlas Copco, a world-leading manufacturer of industrial tools and mining equipment.

Work Method

During the first week of the project, the APD students made a field study trip to Kiruna, located approx. 600 km north of Umeå, where LKAB runs the largest underground iron ore mine in the world. On-site the students were introduced to the company's operations at the mine's newest and lowest production level at 1365 meters. Please have a look at the short movie below summarizing the field trip.

In the project's second phase the students presented their findings and were introduced to methods for sharing information and generating ideas from the insights obtained. The outcome of these activities was used to identify and establish a number of "design opportunities." After this, each student was asked to choose a design opportunity, carry out additional research and to write an individual design brief, specifying how this design challenge would be addressed by the student the remaining time of the project.
When preparing for the final presentation the students also made physical models of their final design. Please have a look at the short movie below summarizing the last phase in the school's workshop.


The final result of the project was 11 different concepts providing potential solutions for a wide range of identified design opportunities within the fields of personal safety and equipment, inspections, charging, ventilation, visibility, new concepts of the LHD (Load-Haul-Dump) vehicle and how to crush boulders (large rocks) in a quicker and better way and transportation of the ore below ground.

External project tutors from Atlas Copco's Industrial Design Competence Center:

Alex Liebert, Director.
Daniel Sellberg, Manager Vehicle Group.
Francisco Lindoro, Industrial Designer.

External tutor and model making instructor:

Johan Gustafsson, Industrial Designer, Struktur Design.

Course responsible and internal tutor:

Thomas Degn, Programme Director for the APD programme.