Week 3: Making Matchstick Stairs Design 1

Initially, working with matchsticks was a very fiddly process whereupon I managed to get glue everywhere. Since working with them, however, I have gained several techniques to ensure a clean joint between matchsticks and glue. I followed my designs closely which helped to take the questioning off of the structural integrity of the pieces. The platforms are made out of three layers of matchsticks – the first with 8 to build a half-hollow platform, the second with three (one on each end and one in the middle) to hold these in place, and the third layer also with three to add structure to the square. These were individually left to dry. The steps were made out of three matchsticks stuck together side by side.

The sides of the steps were made out of two layers of cardboard with a layer of matchsticks between. With an added notch of matchstick at the bottom of each step, the steps now fit snug into the gap in the cardboard created by the matchsticks. This was then glued to ensure it all stayed together.

The platforms were then added at both ends of the stairs – this was initially a mistake and one set had to be taken off. This was because the top end of the stairs intended to have a double platform. This was rectified. Cardboard was added in certain areas to match up the gap that was created by the sides of the stairs. I thought that this would make the stairs very wobbly, however I found there was no structural integrity by doing this. The stairs were then fully stuck together. I am very happy with how the design came out, and I intend to add handrails as well as poles to hold each layer up. I did find, however, that I will have to spray paint this certain set of steps as the cereal box packaging is visible on both sides. This is way I intend to make another set of stairs that doesn’t hold this problem.

The hollow design is also what I was looking for in a set of stairs that looked more like a fire escape. I am therefore planning to use the same techniques to recreate these stairs, and two other designs of external fire escapes.

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