Making and Testing Structures


An understanding of structures is essential to the students’ ability to work with building elements at  various scales. The exercise begins the process with  an introduction to the state of equilibrium, and to  types of load. A theoretical understanding of failure  and states of stress like tension, compression, shear,  bending and torsion is then applied as the students  explore diff erent types of structures and identify the  reasons for failure in each of them. 
They work with tower frames, spanning members,  cantilever members and plates, and resolve the  reasons for failure that they have identifi ed, by  proposing junctions and joinery appropriate to the  load distribution and material of the structure. 
At this stage of the process, the exercise brings  concreteness to the learning, and encourages  exploration and arriving at different possibilities to  respond to the failures identified.