A Concept Designer with a lifelong passion for everything that moves in water

Right outside of Ålesund, on the idyllic Norwegian island of Giske, resides an individual whose life intertwines seamlessly with the maritime industry and the ocean. Meet Torkild Skjong, a Concept Designer with a passion for design and waves.

12. April 2024

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14 years in VARD

His professional journey in ship design started at a shipyard before he spent seven years in the offshore industry in Kristiansand. Torkild eventually found his way back to Sunnmøre, where he took on the role of Design Manager within the high-speed boat market. In 2010 he got a job in VARD.

– I’ve been with VARD as a Concept Designer since 2010, marking 14 years in June. The best part of my job is the freedom to unleash my creativity. Working directly with our clients, we sculpt ideas into vessels that meet their requirements and align with VARD’s core values, Torkild explains.

Can’t get enough of the ocean

As a Concept Designer, he shapes and develops projects according to his vision, both technically and aesthetically. In his current role, Torkild is involved in a multitude of projects, each presenting unique challenges and opportunities for innovation. From cutting edge design for the next-generation PSV powered by ammonia to the SeaZero project – a collaborative venture to develop zero emission vessels for Hurtigruten. However, the ocean is not only part of his work.

With the ocean as the closest neighbour

– I’ve been fascinated by everything that moves in water for as long as I can remember. As a child, I used to build rafts for escapades along the shoreline, before investing in my first windsurfboard as a 15-year-old. Even though I grew up with the ocean as my closest neighbour, I can never get enough, says Torkild.

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Professional pursuits and personal passions

No wonder he is in charge of the watersports center on the island, contributing to inspiring the next generation of windsurfers and ship designers.

– As a Concept Designer, you have to have an interest and curiosity for innovation. For me, that also goes for water sports and the developments in water sports equipment. Whether I'm modeling large ships or out wingfoiling, I'm fully focused on how to move efficiently and functionally in water, he explains.

Work-life balance

For Torkild, the ocean isn’t just a source of recreation – it’s an essential part of his daily existence.

– In an age where work-life balance is paramount, finding harmony between professional pursuits and personal passions is key, Torkild adds.

As he continues to navigate innovations and creativity, he remains steadfast in his commitment to push boundaries, both at the office and on the water.