Hey everyone! With week four of our winter quarter almost underway, now is a perfect time for a quick update on what the team is up to. We have spend a considerable amount of time planning before we jump into intensive design and implementation. The majority of the past couple of weeks has been spent meeting with prior Structures team members (most notably last year's team lead Joanna Liu), current Stanford professors, and archeological liaison Professor John Rick. All these meetings have given us insight on the direction the project has been going and most importantly the constraints and goals of the structures we are designing. Things like materials, weather, and tools were made much more clear to us after repeated meetings and research.
Initially we were split between two types of projects: stabilization and roofing. The latter is what the prior Structures team worked on. They designed a simple version of tensile roofing (see below), which revolved around a cuff design. We spent some time mulling over the idea of iterating on this or completely starting new. We decided it was best to build on their momentum and continue down the roofing path, though not necessarily with the cuff design since that came with its own obstacles. Some of those included lack of proper tension on the canvas and vulnerability to the weather conditions. We are currently deciding between multiple designs and plans to try and find the best option to fulfill some of this year's goals: mobility, modularity, and easy water drainage. We are under constraints of reversibility, materials/tools, identifiability, and aesthetics. It is important to note though that the stabilization of tunnels/excavations is definitely a long term goal that we hope to make some progress on these two quarters. Lay the groundwork for that, even if it may be a small contribution.
Another point of significance was our meeting with Civil Engineering Professor Sarah Billington, who gave us effective guidance on how we would approach designing an effective roofing structure. Together, we brainstormed some good ideas, and those rough sketches are below, to show the process we worked through. Overall, while no solid product has been decided on yet, we are happy that we've spent considerable time thinking about the overarching themes. We want to have a solid understanding of the problem before we hop into a robust solution. The foundation is built and we're on our way!
- Structures Team