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Examples of tensegrity structures

We are preparing a large bamboo weave and are building models using wooden sticks and mono-filament.


What is tensegrity?

"The word 'tensegrity' is an invention: a contraction of 'tensional integrity.' Tensegrity describes a structural-relationship principle in which structural shape is guarenteed by the finitely closed, comprehensively continuous, tensional behaviors of the system and not by the discontinuous and exclusively local compressional member behaviors. Tensegrity provides the ability to yield increasingly without ultimately breaking or coming asunder."

Richard Buckminster Fuller (exerpt from Synergetics, p. 372.)

"The tension-bearing members in these structures – whether Fuller's domes or Snelson's sculptures – map out the shortest paths between adjacent members (and are therefore, by definition, arranged geodesically) Tensional forces naturally transmit themselves over the shortest distance between two points, so the members of a tensegrity structure are precisely positioned to best withstand stress. For this reason, tensegrity structures offer a maximum amount of strength for a given amount of building material."

Donald E. Ingber, The Architecture of Life, Scientific American Magazine, January 1998

Online resources

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