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Week 2 Studio Journal Marta Elefterijadis As this week’s task was to do with tension rather than compression, our group decided to combine the structural solidarity of a triangle with a square frame in order to build our tower. We ended up cutting our piece of balsa wood into 40 small strips as opposed to 40 long strips. As can be seen, the base consisted of a triangular prism frame.

The base was constructed out of two conjoined triangular prisms (joined through the square frames at the very bottom), and then the tower was built upwards over that. We found that at this point we could only build upwards using basic cubic frames rather than a combination of triangular and square frames as was done for the base.

Constructing Environments - Sem2

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Week 2 Studio Journal Marta Elefterijadis

Once completed, our tower was roughly 40cm tall and consisted of two triangluar prisms for the base, two cubes in the middle and another triangular prism as the top of the tower. While our tower wasn’t very tall or particularly large, it nevertheless held together very well especially considering we only used super glue to stick the pieces of balsa wood together, with no help from any pins or masking tape. It was found that the fact that we cut our balsa wood into small strips made the structure much more stable and able to resist a lot of weight put upon it. As can be seen from the figure on the right, we tested out some weights by resting our phones in between the tower’s frames.

Constructing Environments - Sem2

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Week 2 Studio Journal Marta Elefterijadis

Eventually we tried to put as many objects onto the tower and as can be seen from the figure on the right, it eventually collapsed under the weight of them. We were surprised at how much weight it was able to support in the end, and found that the reason for the collapse was most like due to the somewhat unstable cubic middle frames, which unlike the triangular prism base frames did not possess the same structural stability as we did not have enough balsa wood in order to create cross supports. Another thing we noticed was that the tower did not break in the middle due to sagging under the heavy load, but instead collapsed to the side. This may have been due to a possibility of us having built it leaning somewhat to one side, therefore making the tower more vulnerable to collapse on that side.

Constructing Environments - Sem2

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Studio Journal 2_640888  

Week 2 Studio Journal Constructing Environments University of Melbourne

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