Brunel’s Network debuts at Engine Shed

Engine Shed is delighted to be the debut venue for The Brunel Institute’s pioneering new project, Brunel’s Network.

Brunel’s Network is an interactive display which uses a series of digital mind maps to show the people behind Brunel’s groundbreaking engineering.  

There are three maps, one for each of Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s steam ships: the Great Western, the Great Britain and the Great Eastern. 

Each map serves as a data visualization package which presents the working relationships behind the planning, financing, and construction of the vessels. 

Brunel’s Network was produced by the Brunel Institute, a collaboration between the SS Great Britain Trust and the University of Bristol, with funding from the Jean Golding Institute. 

James Boyd, Research Fellow in the Brunel Institute, said: 

“The project helps us to understand communities of innovation in the Victorian era, and how easily they coalesced to create advances in both technology and global interconnection.   

“The most interesting point is that Brunel’s influence was not always an engineering one; in some instances, his social, managerial and lobbying roles were more important in delivering new technology.” 

Marty Reid, Head of Engine Shed, said: 

“We are privileged to work every day in such a historic building. This project enables us to continue celebrating the innovation of Brunel’s work to visitors and future innovators.”   

Brunel’s Network is open to view at Engine Shed’s Platform 14 event space on weekdays 9-5pm.