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WEEK 01 

ACTIVITY: ‘COMPRESSION’

Analysis of the activity and links to the weekly subject content

The key word of week 1 is ‘compression’ and the activity is to build a tower with small wooden bricks. During the process of building tower, there are forces going way down the tower from the top thus forming compression on bricks. The compression is changing during the construction-deconstruction process for each brick. This activity is to investigate the importance of compression in constructing.

Photographic sequence of process


Description and analysis of the ‘construction system’ employed

Our group was aiming to build a cone-shape tower so we start the construction with a circle. The first layer of bricks were put into a circle with spaces in-between. Then the second layer was filling the gap between the bricks of the first layer. As the tower was constructing upwards, we slightly pushed the circle in. Then the tower ended up with one brick on the top. The circular shape make sure the centre of the gravity is in the middle so that the tower is sustainable. Also, due to the circular shape, every brick on each layer is changing angle. Therefore while putting on bricks, it does not need to be accurate to ensure the sustainability of the tower. This construction system also can make sure when the tower is deconstructing, the collapsing poinr is high approaching the top.

Efficiency of material

The only material using in this activity is small wooden bricks with same size, shape and weight. This makes sure that with the cone-shape construction, every brick is basically sharing the compression evenly. Furthermore, the efficiency of material guarantees the sustainability of the structure.

Sketches of load paths during the different stages of the construction -deconstruction process



Week 01 activity