The Mining Project

2011 Design for User Experience

10-week term project with New Boliden and Atlas Copco

During this project's first week the APD students made a field study trip to Boliden, located approx. 170 km from Umeå, where they during two days conducted participatory observations in smaller groups. When one group visited New Boliden's concentrator plant, the other group went 1300 meters (!) below ground in the Renström mine.


The possibility to following the miners during a full working shift, gave the students an exclusive insight to the professional work the miners do and the impressive machines they operate on a daily basis, no matter if it is drilling holes for the explosive charges, charging, blasting (this takes place between the work shifts, mucking (removing the rock rubble after the blast), scaling (loose rocks are hammered loose). Shot-creting (a thin layer of concrete is sprayed on the inside of the mine ceiling for safety reasons), or rock bolting (bolts are drill and placed in the ceiling to secure the surface).

In the project's second phase the students presented their findings and were introduced to methods for sharing information and generating ideas from this common foundation of insights. 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.

At the end the result of the project was 11 different concepts providing potential solutions for a wide range of identified design opportunities such as seven different vehicle concepts for drilling, charging, rock bolting, scaling and personnel transports. Three different helmet concepts were developed focusing on safety, communications and personalisation, including a concept for autonomous inspections for improved safety for the personnel.

The final result of the project was presented to representatives from New Boliden and Atlas Copco's Industrial Design Competence Center. The students was after the completion of the project invited to come and present their work on-site in Örebro for the entire design team at Atlas Copco's Industrial Design Competence Center.

External project tutors:

Alex Liebert, Design manager for the Atlas Copco's Industrial Design Competence Center Daniel Sellberg, industrial designer at Atlas Copco's Industrial Design Competence Center Workshop
Steen Mandsfelt, Industrial designer (DK)

Workshop facilitator:

Professor Pete Avondoglio (DK)

Course responsible:

Thomas Degn, Programme Director for the APD programme

  • UID Students

    Vincent Berkeley Chen
    Dawid Dawod
    Maxime Dubreucq
    Stephanie Knödler
    Robert Provó Kluit
    Kim Risager
    Arturo Torres Tovar Carlos
    William Van Beek
    Natalie Vanns
    Martin Edlund
    Mikael Lindblom