I created four different designs after researching different types of domestic staircases and fire escapes. These use different materials to determine how sturdy they would be, with a plan of making perhaps several designs with the strongest materials.
Design one: using natural wooden matchsticks and cardboard, I plan to build a small replica of fire escapes that I found in Ottawa. This would involve a palette-like base at each of the landings and three matchsticks stuck together at each of the steps. Joining this together is cardboard, cut in the zigzag pattern to determine the stair shape. My worry is that it would not be completely sturdy as they are small matchsticks stuck together with UHU glue. There is a layered support structure for the palettes, but this is still a concern.
Design two: using folded paper in a more of a domesticated looking staircase. This is a simplified design to determine the capabilities of the material. A concern with using paper is that it would not survive for very long, and that it is a more domesticated design than I was perhaps going for initially. This raises questions about where I would photograph it and how, especially if it needs a base for such a weak structure (especially compared to the other designs produced)
Design three: a cardboard design looking at another domesticated staircase. The cardboard is stronger than paper, but perhaps weaker than the matchsticks. There may be a difficult with the cuts of the cardboard of this piece, however it will be more of a stable structure. I wish to have a curve around the steps as they usually slightly layer over each other, and so I am looking to put a matchstick at the end of the end of the step to recreate this. Spray painting would then cover the difference between the two materials used.
Design four: this uses cardboard and Popsicle sticks in another domesticated staircase design. The popsicle sticks would have the rounded ends cut off and the stability of the staircase would depend on where the sticks are stuck. I am also planning to add a matchstick on these stairs to recreate the hanging over effect on real stairs.