In Fall semester 2019 I co-taught a course called Boatbuilding: Design, Making, and Culture, with Chris Bull and Shep Shapiro. Here’s the description:
This course introduces the study of the design, engineering, work, material culture and history through the construction of a traditional workboat, a Maine peapod. As the class builds the boat we’ll gain a hands-on understanding of issues of engineering, design, skill, and workmanship. At the same time, we’ll do historical research and visit museums to gain insight into the history of small craft and their builders and users from the nineteenth century to the present. Throughout the course, we will consider philosophical issues of tradition, creativity, and knowledge in engineering and making. Three longer writing assignments and an ongoing journal will connect hands-on work and research.
and here’s a link to the syllabus.
I will write up more about how the course worked, but here are three views into the course:
- “Floating Ideas: A new course combines the history of boat building with hands-on construction,” by by Peder Schaefer ’22 in the April/May 2020 Brown Alumni Magazine.
- “Learning through Making,” a video by Nat Hardy
- An article about the course from the Brown News Service