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Week  1  Journal   Wenjie  Cai              

In  this  week’s  tutorial  we  used  the  given  materials,  bricks  and  woods,  to  build  a  tower  and  make  it  as   high  as  we  can  and  also  keep  it  stable.   At  the  first  stage  of  our  construction,  our  group  decided  to  build  a  base  for  the  whole  tower.  We  used   rubber  band  to  truss  the  wood  brick  (figure  1).  The  purpose  of  the  rubber  bands  is  to  make  the  materials   bond  up  tightly  to  form  bigger  and  longer  pieces  of  wood  so  that  the  base  would  not  fall  apart  easily.   This  can  make  our  tower  more  stable.  We  also  left  a  space  as  a  door.  

  figure  1:  Trussed  wood  brick   (Author)   After  building  the  first  level  of  the  base  with  the  truss,  we  started  to  build  the  second  level  of  the  base   with  the  woods,  which  were  not  trussed.  This  stage  is  to  make  our  base  higher  with  shorter  time  and   also  make  the  base  wider.  

  figure  2:  The  base  &  the  bricks   (Author)  

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figure  3:  purpose  of  the  bricks   (Author)   As  we  did  not  use  any  special  constructing  method  for  the  second  level  of  the  base,  the  base  became   very  unstable.  Therefore,  after  finishing  the  base,  we  put  bricks  on  it.  The  bricks  are  much  heavier  than   the  wood  so  that  the  compression  by  the  bricks  can  make  the  woods  and  the  floor  bond  much  more   tightly  so  that  the  base  is  stable  enough  (figure  3).  This  has  strengthened  the  stability  of  the  tower.  Also,   the  bricks  are  thicker  than  other  materials  so  they  make  the  tower  higher.    

  figure  4:  Different  construction   (Author)  


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figure  5:  The  bricks   (Author)   We  continued  to  build  the  tower  on  the  bricks  with  similar  method  as  the  second  level  of  the  base,  no   rubber  band,  and  only  wood  bricks.  However,  the  constructions  are  different.  For  the  second  level  of  the   base,  we  only  put  one  wood  bricks  on  another  and  make  it  higher.  For  this  stage,  we  put  one  wood  brick   on  the  other  two  to  make  it  more  stable  (figure  4.)  However,  as  the  heavy  bricks  are  thinner  than  the   base,  we  can  only  build  a  thin  wall  on  them  (figure  5).  This  caused  a  problem.  The  construction  of  this   level  has  weakened  the  tower’s  stability  as  it  is  not  thick  enough,  when  it  gets  higher,  it  will  be  less   stable  with  a  thin  wall.  For  building  a  higher  tower,  we  decided  to  put  the  trussed  woods  on  the  thin   wall  to  form  a  flat  structure.  Figure  6  is  the  vertical  view  of  the  flat  structure,  the  blue  drawing   represents  the  woods  below  and  the  red  drawing  represents  the  upper  ones.    

  figure  6:  Vertical  view  of  the  flat  structure   (Author)  

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figure  7:  The  flat  structure   (Author)  

  figure  8:  Non-­‐supported  trussed  woods   (Author)  


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figure  9:  Forces  break  the  truss   (Author)   When  we  finished  it,  which  is  shown  by  figure  7,  we  start  to  focus  on  the  height  on  the  upper-­‐trussed   wood.  We  built  as  fast  as  we  can  to  make  the  tower  higher,  however,  on  our  half  way  of  our  work,  we   found  a  critical  problem  that  stop  us  from  constructing.  There  is  no  support  under  the  flat  structure   (figure  8&9).  As  the  tower  became  higher,  this  structure  cannot  support  the  weight  of  the  tower.  The   shape  of  them  changed  and  seems  likely  to  break  and  fall.  We  deconstructed  it  and  tried  to  find  a  better   way.  No  support  was  the  main  reason  for  the  failure;  therefore  we  change  our  method  of  putting  the   trussed  woods.  We  put  2  ‘long  woods’  on  the  top  of  the  back  wall  and  put  another  2  on  these  two   (figure  10).    This  instruction  avoid  the  problem  caused  by  non-­‐supported  as  the  2  ‘long  woods’  below   support  the  upper  2.    

  figure  10:  vertical  view  of  the  tower   (Author)  

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figure  11:  Squares  on  the  flat  structure   (Author)   Finally,  we  started  to  make  it  higher,  we  used  the  method  that  is  similar  to  the  method  2  shown  by   figure  4.  we  built  it  in  the  way  figure  11  shown.  

  Figure  12:  The  top  of  the  tower   (Author)  


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figure  13:  The  final  appearance  of  the  tower   (Author)   After  constructing,  we  needed  to  shake  the  table  to  test  its  stability.  By  shaking  the  table,  parts  of  them   were  fallen  but  the  tower  still  stood  (figure  14).  

  figure  14:  The  tower  after  shaking   (Author)  

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When  we  was  building  it,  we  have  expected  those  materials  would  fall  as  we  did  not  use  anything  to   strengthen  their  bonding.     By  the  activities  during  our  studio,  I  have  gained  some  knowledge  of  constructing.  Higher  building  needs   thicker  walls  the  support.  Strengthen  the  bonding  of  the  building  material  is  also  very  important  for  the   stability.    


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