Designing the Vessels of Empire

In this week’s story we reflect on the artisans from across the globe who designed the ships that made (and continue to make) travelling the oceans possible. Across cultures and traditions, theirs is a labour of love involving materials, geometry, algorithms, and a deep understanding of how the seas and winds work.

Inspired by Henry VIII’s ship, the Mary Rose, we follow the story of one such artisan from Aveiro in Portugal, Father Fernando de Oliveira; and how the emergence of new empires saw great changes in ship-building traditions.

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