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WEEK 2 STUDIO JOURNAL This weeks activity focused on the two concepts of ‘frame’ and ‘collapse’. These concepts were explored through the construction of a tower built of 40 pieces of balsa wood.

Aim: To design a stable structure and build the tower up as high as possible.


Joints are supported by tape.

It is visible that the prism is slightly leaning/bent towards the right side. This is due to the uneven lengths of the pieces of balsa wood; became a major structural problem as the tower was built higher. The slanting base frame was unable to support weight of tower leading to its collapse. .

Construction concept: The construction concept displayed by the photo above is a basic triangular prism structure; the support to build vertically upwards from. The base consists of three balsa wood pieces attached together by tape in a triangle formation. Three double attached pieces of wood are then attached to the three joints of the triangle, and another triangular base is attached.

WEEK 2 STUDIO JOURNAL The main body of the tower: 3 long pieces of balsa wood (6 pieces attached together) following the construction concept building upwards finishing with a triangular face at the top to support frame.

Problems identified: Frame of the tower is weak due to lack of joint attachments in centre. Structure is aslant in various angles displaying weak stability, due to lack of central support giving way to spindly frame.

WEEK 2 STUDIO JOURNAL Deformation and stability

Added weight.

The frame of the tower is visibly leaning at angles. Not stable structure. Buckling point, frame at its weakest unable to support weight above.

WEEK 2 STUDIO JOURNAL What is a ‘Load-bearing wall’? Its definition can quite easily be restricted to exactly what it implies: a wall that bears a load. However a more detailed description is necessary to understand the concept behind this mechanism. A load-bearing wall is a certain structured wall that uses a foundation structure to bear the load resting on it. It is also able to support its own weight and ‘live loads’ (2005). Material used can be: concrete, brick and steel.

The Burj Khalifa (tallest manmade structure in the world) uses load-bearing walls (2013).

REFERENCES Service Central 2005, Service Central , Australia viewed 15 August 2013, <> Emporis 2013, Emporis, Hamburg viewed 15 August 2013, <>

Studio Journal Week 2  

Studio Journal Week 2 Constructing environments University of Melbourne

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