Saturday, 7 August 2010

Tensegrity for winners

If you thought the parallelogram was dope, get ready for


Tensional integrity, by definition: a structure who's compressive members are connected to each other by tensile members.

Too many difficult words in one sentence to be a subject of interest? Fear not, tensegrity puts the 'c' in cool for sculptural art.

In simple words, this strangely named structure is one that stays erect only if the cables or wires connecting the parts are rigid and tense. Furthermore, as the technique enabled the production of exceptionally rigid structures for their mass, from the 1960's onwards it found its use in architecture. A good example is the Seoul Olympic Gymnastics Arena designed in the 1980's by David Geiger.

But it doesn't stop here, it gets personal too. Tensegrity is something you own, literally, as it is observable in our (human) bodies as the muscle and bone structures are only "keeping it together" because of tension games.

Becoming a tensegrist is very simple, all you have to do is blow up a balloon! The molecules of air discontinuously push against the continuously pulling rubber skin of the balloon and create: TENSEGRITY. Phat.

Below: Sculptures by Kenneth Snelston, Seoul Olympic Arena, in blue: some crazy dutch fetishist making paper sculptures.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. The Dutch fetishist is Marcelo Pars, the tall cylinder is the Skylon,, You picked some great photos, and Ken Snelson's website has more, And I agree--tensegrity is dope! :-)