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    Tensegrity and a wall house(?)

    By Sir Arthur Braagadocio
    Sep 26, '06 10:59 PM EST

    via bold faced letter re-presentation, i will signify what class the material disussed is relevant to.

    studioTensegrity...I know what you're thinking, tensegrity is so 1960's Buckminster Fuller . Maybe, if you're talking spaceframe geodesic domes. I have yet to see a Kenneth Snelson sculpture turn into a skyscraper.
    From my research even the mathematics for this type of structure is very new, so if anybody knows of any engineers who are actively pursing engineering such a structure let me know. Another note, it seems Bucky ripped Kenneth off; apparently he took the ideas of his student and marketed the ideas a hell of a lot better than his student ever could.

    anyway,if you're still wondering how tensegrity might be worth looking at these days, here are my reasons:

    1. Biomimicry, hipper than a continous ribbon form. biomimicry, everyone is doing it! and wait it has real world applications that add to the evolution of the AEC industry, unlike an anonymous architecture defined by a self prescribed language of forms and signifiers and simulacra...

    - i apologize, just rubbing it in - Archigram and its Legacies"Architects seem to have established and dogmatized an ensemble of significations, as such poorly developed and variously labelled as 'function', 'form', 'structure', or rather functionalism, formalism, and structuralism. They elaborate them not from the significations perceived and lived by those who inhabit, but from their interpretation of inhabiting." - p.152, "Writing on Cities", Henri Lefebvre...i would be misconstrueing this quote if I told you my intentions for using it, but let me just infer a bit here, coming from a well renowned social theorist this statement about architects seems slightly negative...

    2. biophysics i have been looking at the cytoskeleton of a biological cell. according to Donald E. Ingber, M.D., Ph.D. the structure (mechanics) of a cell is just like Kenneth Snelson's sculptures and here is the cool part - effects on the structure causes a cell to basically switch to some sort of genetic prescribed program for its behavior, behavior includes creating proteins for action and changing its overall structure

    3. efficient use of materials

    4. as per Donald E. Ingber's example, if a structure is attached to a flat membrane the structure will flatten. the tensegrity structure will change shape in flow with a force acting through it. at its limits a tensegrity structure could become completely flat between two membranes.

    5. new mathematics, did I mention that, new mathematics....

    6. a wall house(?) no not that one. well, maybe? its my understanding John Hejduk worked through the design elements the big guys of the generation before his left out of their grand schemes of modern architecture. Hejduk dealt with the peripheral as Corb, Mies, FLW dealt with the panorama (steeling the words right out of an essay by ? Somol)...well this was not originally my idea, i had these three schemes of a program for my tensegrity structure as a wall, all fairly shitty... and bam Winka Dubbeldam suggested perhaps I take one scheme and combine it with another scheme and make it do this and that (thats why she gets the big bucks). not saying she said to do a wall house, she just said make the structure pop out as per its inherant characteristics at certain spots to service a certain human action (program). now if i were to explain my wall project here as a technical continuation of the wall house, would it help legitmize Hejduk's ideas as built architecture, or wait was anyone ever supposed to build his ideas? Archigram and its Legacy the importance of utopia as a critique (Tafuri)

    ahh, well who cares. long story short, i am trying to make a stand alone structure become a wall. the wall will expand on its own via its own structure. like a cell, in which there are more than one type of ropes and rods composing the tensegrity structure, i will be incorporating more functions to the ropes and rods than purely structural, i.e. MEP...

    Forms and Alogrithms i will have to animate this wall, this requires an understanding of the structure, this structure is derived from weaving, must now re-write bits of my proposal for this class, so that I may learn the mathematics behind such geometry....

    thank you archinect

    me thoughts are clear hic et nunc


    • rehiggins

      There's a book called "Geodesic Math and How to Use It" which can be helpful in understanding tensegrity (discontinuous compression to use Snelson's term), plus, since you're at PENN, check out Robert LeRicolais' work…

      stress-skins (monocoque or semi-monocoque) are good to look at too

      Sep 27, 06 12:49 am
      Sir Arthur Braagadocio


      Sep 27, 06 5:08 pm

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