This project is a forward-looking design based on an environmentally friendly and sustainable development with new

In 2019, Master´s students of industrial design at Muthesius University of Fine Arts and Design (Simeon Ortmüller, Tobias Gehrke, Vincent Steinhart-Besser, Yigang Shen and Jingyue Chen) developed design concepts for a new form of mobility on water and gave the CAPTN project its first visible identity. The students have dealt with the question: What is the future of public transport on the Kiel Fjord? Kiel grows and urban mobility needs attractive offers to make it easier to avoid the car and to achieve ambitious climate targets. The fact that ferry traffic in this context connects the west and east bank over a longer period of time during the day and at a tighter frequency and that the connections to bus traffic play a central role is obvious.

The two different concepts of the VAIARO project with the names “Floating Platform” and “Passage” are characterized by pragmatism and radicalism in equal measure. For this purpose, leitmotifs for intelligent mobility and a new landmark in Kiel were developed. The project was designed as a cooperation from the beginning: Partners from Kiel University and from the University of Applied Sciences are working in their respective fields on the realization of an autonomous ferry. The parties involved were thus present at regular intervals for presentations, in the course of which the drafts and their own position were repeatedly reviewed and adjusted. In this way, indications of the desired qualities could be obtained. What is meant to be in the drafts is basically quite simple to grasp: When I come to Kiel, I absolutely have to take the new ferry!


Simeon Ortmüller, Vincent Steinhart-Besser, Yigang Shen, Jingyue Chen

Prof. Detlef Rhein /Prof. Frank Jacob

Learn more from CAPTN please visit the official website:

Documentation of Design process:


This semesterproject was finished until March 2020

Nowadays, electric yachts are more and more popular among consumers. But there isn’t enough infrastructure to keep them on their range of journey. E-HARBOUR Water charging station provides an adequate clean energy supply for various water vehicles. And provide temporary berths for long charging and replenishment. The modular design provides Individual floating islands or groups in coastal communities. In this community, we can also add on some self-sailing power bank with solar power station to distribute energies. As a sustainable strategy for every haven city, it is also a response to rising water levels since global warming.

E-HARBOUR Water charging station provides an adequate clean energy supply for various water vehicles. And provide temporary berths for long charging and docking places. The cell-modular includes a floating platform and a charging pillar which hat three interactive screens for user’s operation and also three plug seats. 

Especially at the top of the pillar, there is a reflective light like a lighthouse. The light from it can direct mariners to come here to charge (Lighthouse not only means the hop of life but also means the power of electricity). Usually, the recharge station can maintain the daily energy consumption by own wind power module.  Otherwise, the modular principle of organization can provide individual floating islands or groups in coastal communities. The construction principle of the Floating platform seems like a self-supporting space station. Therefore, in this community, we can also add on some self-sailing power bank with solar power station to distribute energies.

The interface design follows the user-centred design method and is designed to complete classified charging management for different water vehicles. The user also can use a login card with some personal data to enter the system so that the charging station can identify the type of energy and charging time for the user’s own device to recharge. About the timely feedback information, there are a screen and a display to present energy consumption, duration and cost. The animation design on the interface is convenient for users to reduce learning costs and operate faster. The plug seat adopts three-proof design standard and guarantees the user’s safety.

offshore on lake
offshore in sea

Energy supply (charging) is a basic demand, and many service models can be followed at the same time. Just as gas stations now have special rest-stations, drivers can consume during the refueling period (kiosk or restaurant etc.). In addition, the floating platform also provides E-boat docking and charging space in the port. Shipowners can purchase fixed berths, or they can flexibly rent their own berths through the B2C platform. In addition, we also envisage sharing economy models, sharing berths or establishing shared ships. Because this energy supply platform allows us to associate more operational business models about building marine city in the future, and it is not limited to Switzerland, even any haven cities around the world.

Today’s E-mobility industry has already fierce competition on the electric vehicle market. On the other hand, the green energy industry continues to support the rise of the electric mobility’s market. We believe, the next 5 years is the golden development period for electric water transport and the market leader is consumer-grade private boats. But what has been overlooked? The charging equipment! They can extend the range of sailing for E-boat. We hope that this proposal will provide more efficient and convenient energy support for the green water transportation now, and also provide suggestions for the construction of a marine city in response to climate warming and rising water levels. 

Project Manual