New Product Solutions for Future First Responder Collaboration

2019 Design Methodology

10-week term project in collaboration with FLIR and the police academy and first responders from the ambulance, police and fire stations in Umeå.




The objective with this study was to identify and address relevant design opportunities for new product solutions that could support, enhance and provide new types of seamless collaboration between first responders at the same accident site. 

The project was carried out in close collaboration with first responders from the local ambulance, police and fire stations. FLIR which is the world leader in the design, manufacturing, and marketing of thermal imaging infrared cameras, was the industrial design partner and participated with design feedback throughout the project.

Work Method

Before the project officially started, the students had the opportunity to participate in two exercises that both focused on collaboration between the three first responder units. The first exercise was with first responder students practising together for the first time at MSB's (The Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency) school at Sandö south of Umeå. The second exercise was in Umeå with professional first responders where some of the APD students had the role of injured and experienced the physical and time-related perspective of being victims. A small video from this exercise can be seen below. 

During the first weeks of the project the student also got the opportunity to visit the police academy and the local police, ambulance and fire stations.

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 the remaining time of the project. 
Both FLIR and representatives from the first responders participated at the final presentation in UID, where students presented their concepts and exhibited their design results with posters and presentation models.


Industrial design tutors from FLIR

Christian Högstedt, Head of Design and Anton Hoffman, Industrial Design Lead (APD alumnus 2014).

External tutor and model making instructor:

Johan Gustafsson, Industrial Designer, Struktur Design. 

Internal tutors:

Jonas Sandström, Linda Bogren, Tomas Lindehell, David Risberg.

Course responsible: 

Thomas Degn, Programme Director for the APD programme.