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STUDIO JOURNAL WEEK 1            

1. Task description The first week of tutorial’s activity we were assigned to build an as high as possible tower by using many small blocks and then testing their stability or collapsing point by destroying the towers bit by bit, for the sake of understanding how different structures, shapes of the towers as well as the way people build towers affect their stability as they are getting higher and some principles which play an important role in stabilizing the towers.  


STUDIO JOURNAL WEEK 1   2. Constructing processes Stage 1 - Constructing a foundation

A square base was chosen since it could a good reason for being a stable foundation. Blocks were equally spaced to a certain extent, so that the blocks above were put on the top of the space between the blocks


STUDIO JOURNAL WEEK 1   from lower layers and gradually kept building on like this until it reached up to certain height. During this process, we tried to keep and make sure the distance among block to block to the least difference, as it is impossible to have exact space among the blocks all the time. By doing so that the force on every block could be evenly distributed and therefore a stable foundation is created. Load path of Stage 1:

Each block has a downward force due to its own mass weight.


STUDIO JOURNAL WEEK 1   Stage 2 - Change of shape

When the tower reached to a certain height, we started changing the shape of the tower to a circle rather than a square, and gradually making the circle smaller by moving the blocks further away from the center of the blocks but in an inward direction, by doing like this less materials were used which improved the efficiency。especially within a limited timeframe, efficiency becomes even more important. Also, by using


STUDIO JOURNAL WEEK 1   less material, the weight of the tower became lighter too, hence less force and pressure were applied to the bottom of the tower, and so the tower became not easy to fall.

The way that we used to deal with the transition from a square to a circle was by positioning the corner blocks in about 120 degrees (Image 1) with the blocks below, instead of 90 degree (Image

2), which

was used when

building the square base. (Image 1)

(Image 2)


STUDIO JOURNAL WEEK 1   Step 3 – completion

The circle was getting smaller and smaller as we approached to the end, the same approach was applied as mentioned above in order to achieve this effect. Until to the last minute, in a bid to make the tower as high as possible, we put one block on top of each other to increase the height of the tower. However, this part


STUDIO JOURNAL WEEK 1   later on became the part that collapsed the earliest when we stated deconstructing the tower.

3. Deconstruction of the tower

One of the students poked through the tower, which was built by our group, in a random way. The entire


STUDIO JOURNAL WEEK 1   tower almost remained stable, expect for there were a few blocks dropped from the very top of the tower. As I mentioned before, it was obvious that this part of the tower will collapse first for sure because there was no external force from other directions to support the blocks. The force that pointed downwards was the only force, which the blocks exerted on. So the external force easily affected this part of the tower, which resulted in collapsing. Looking at the second image, which is on the right hand side, this image illuminated that it was the foundation or the base of the tower the most stable, as the force of all the blocks were distributed relatively even as compare to other parts of the tower.


STUDIO JOURNAL WEEK 1   Also, the symmetry of force could have an influence of the duration of the tower as well.

Even though both sides of the tower had been destroyed, but it still remained quite stable. This is due to the symmetry of force, as the pressure from the top of the tower was distributed evenly to the lower parts


STUDIO JOURNAL WEEK 1   of the tower. The force of the two sides of the tower was in balance, hence keeping the tower steady.

4. Conclusion Through the experience of this activity, I understood there would always be a reason for the building to be built in the way it should be. I understood how different ways of constructing a building and the material used to build buildings would affect its stability as well as duration of buildings. Different construction system brings out different characteristics of the buildings.

 


2013-1__Reflection__Student Journal