w/1 – Tensegrity




Tensegrity structures exhibit extremely high strength-to-weight ratios and great resilience, and are therefore widely used in engineering, robotics and architecture, but also in organic and complex life-forms – It’s a fundamental logic of Life and Technology. This seminar is a ‘hands-on’ approach to learning and feeling these simple yet complex methods and applying them to the local environment. In the abstract, if we consider specific geometries as conceptual models we can begin to think through and experience relations between poles or continuums of nature-culture, human-technology, time-space and thereby get closer to understanding Ecology and the nature of the cosmos in general. To elaborate these relationships we also encounter art historical references along the path.

Using sustainable materials, processes, and sites we explore roles that anatomy, cellular biology, robotics, space engineering, furniture, art and architecture might play in imagining nomadic lightweight horizons that align with a brighter future.

We first develop and construct geometric models to gain the haptic insight into this construction possibility. The complexity of the construction technique requires experience and experimentation. We begin with platonic solids and understanding the 3 dimensional ‘weave’ patterns. These investigations increase in complexity and dimension as we become more familiar and begin to apply the logic to the surrounding forest using various materials.

Any readings are made spontaneously in a performative group setting where building processes may amplify the textual materials.

The students will develop knowledge and understandings of the work and influence from Frei Otto, Kenneth Snelson, Hans Haacke, Robert Smithson, Gordon Matta Clark, James Turrell and Buckminster Fuller. They will gain the practical applicable knowledge of the Tensegrity tenets and begin to coneptualize them in the abstract. An heuristic eco-sophical approach is tended towards an archeo-astrolonomical event.


Image: Jol Thomson






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