Week 9 Data: Group B

For this week’s lab, we set out to make a structure out of turf, one which would be large enough to hold up our tent we made in week 8 and one that could act as benches upon which we could sit on inside of the tent. The purpose of this activity was to replicate an Icelandic booth, a type of temporary dwelling associated with the cultural event, the Althing. The lab groups experimented with different types of turf construction, with our group and Group C teaming up to create strengir, or strip blocks. The following presents our data for the lab.

Turf-Cutting Data

The first of the two main sections of our lab was cutting the turf and removing it from the ground to allow it to dry in the sun. This enabled each strengir to become a more cohesive block, as water weight in each block could result in them falling apart when moved. While we could have had a precise goal for number of strengir since the height and length of each block was, in theory, static, and because we knew the length and height of wall we were hoping to achieve, we did not complete these calculations before the lab, and quickly discovered it was in our best interests to just make as many strips as we could in the time allotted, making more when we anticipated needing more. This is largely due to the difficulty of creating the “perfect” strips; while we sought to have them 4 feet in length, two feet wide, one inch deep on the shallow end and three inches deep on the other with a steady bevel between the two, achieving these exact dimensions was virtually impossible with the tools and skills at hand. Instead, we choose to measure out each strip by roughly 4 shovel lengths by two shovel lengths, cut the “deep” end of the strip by a measure of about half the shovel depth, and create a bevel from the “shallow” end using the natural curvature of a pickaxe swing. Notably, we landed on these rough measurements through trial and error; this method began to be used in its entirety by about block 5-8. To record true measurables, since we determined that the exact dimensions of the strips were irrelevant to our goal of creating as many as quickly as possible, we instead measured the time it took to create each block to track our progressive efficiency of rough-block creation. After block 15, we had reached a rough maximum efficiency which we maintained throughout the remainder of the lab. We did, however, timed our final three blocks–“n-3,” “n-2,” and “n-1”–to see if any factors such as fatigue affected our efficiency. Our efficiency did not appear to have any noticeable difference. Ultimately, what this data reflects is how our efficiency dramatically increased with as we continued making blocks, until we reached a rough maximum efficiency around block 5-8, once we had figured out the technique that worked for us. The graph also does a nice job representing how we made a series of “breakthroughs and plateaus:” a breakthrough from blocks 3-4, 5-6, and 7-8 with pleats from 4-5 and 6-7. This reflects how we would develop a new technique, have a short period where we refined it or got used to that movement, and then implement it in an effective manner.

Strip NumberTime to Create Strip
Number of blocks created, with respect to the time it took to create each block.
Graph of the above data.

Our final piece of data was much smaller; it was simply the final measurements of the side of the booth we were working on: 295 cm in length, 253 cm in width, and 237 cm in height. This side was three strengirs deep and roughly three wide; we included corner blocks in our measurements. This data is the same for group C.

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