History of Ship Design and Construction

History of Ship Design and Construction

Horst Nowacki, Matteo Valleriani


<a href="http://nausikaa2.mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de/cgi-bin/toc/toc.x.cgi?dir=Conta_Art... target="_blank">Contarini, G.,<i> Arte de far Vasselli</i>, 1590</a>

In 2004/2005 the main activity on the theme of Ship Design and Construction was concentrated on the genesis and application of scientific knowledge in ship hydromechanics in the 18th c. in the context of the International Congress on the "Technology of the Ships of Trafalgar", held in November 2005 in Madrid and Cadiz. This event gave an opportunity to review the scientific developments in fluid mechanics theory and to assess their influence on practical ship design throughout the 18th c. leading up to the ships in the various fleets engaged in the battle of Trafagar. Although the scientific knowledge in fluid dynamics applied to ships in the era of Newton, the Bernoullis, Euler, D'Alembert etc.was still immature and ship design remained predominantly empirically based, a growing physical understanding of ship performance can be documented. Such knowledge becomes apparent in the maritime literature and in the ships themselves.

In 2005 the beginnings were also made for a new collaborative effort together with the ongoing MPIWG project on the epistemic history of architecture. The goal is an analysis of the historical knowledge interdependence in the shape creation processes in civil architecture and naval architecture. This activity will result in an international workshop on this topic at MPIWG in December 2006.