Islands of compression in a sea of tension

Islands of compression in a sea of tension

Struts, unwaxed linen thread, pita fibre
Site-specific installation
Variable dimensions


The intention is keep learning from nature, from its own laws, its geometry, its materials, its possibilities.

The work is the offshoot of this fascination towards nature, to observe it and try to understand it to generate kindred works. The same interest, that previously led me to explore fractals and natural materials to architecture now leads me to research the possibilities of these materials in lightweight structures.

The installation is named after the defition of tensegrity by Buckminster Fuller.

The structures of tensegrity (tensional integrity) are systems formed by elements that don’t touch each other (normally struts) connected by tensioned elements (normally cables), looking quite different to the ones we are used to see.
The tensegrity principle is that the balance depends exclusively on tension and compression forces.

The first sensation is, maybe, being witnessing a magic event, while you are seeing it you cannot be totally sure about how is it supported. I am drawn to see elements which seem to be floating in the air, as if they were suspended, to organize a lightweight structure of balanced elements not touching each other. I feel attracted to both its poetic ability and its geometric structure effectiveness. Do more with less. These characteristics are also present in natural structures, looking for and achievig efficiency, with a driven design.

The aim is to explore this structural system relating it with the supposed complexity of nature in an intuitive way.
The human body is under the same compression and tension strenghts.
The dorsal spine or the cell structures could be explained by tensegrity.

The history of the tensegrity is 50 years old. The most part of the tensegrity structures and sculptures have been made with industrialised materials as aluminium or steel.

Why not look into these structures which can explain the strenghtdistribution inthe dorsal spine, an element of our human nature, with materials present in nature?

Why not building a tensegrity structure with natural materials?

It is not about resolving an optimal structure from the formulation of the logical calculus but to start an intuitive inquiry.
First I collect fallen branches from woods or canes that are found in the surroundings, those are the struts or sticks.
Then I choose and clean up the material to begin the experimental phase in the studio doing sketch model makings. While I am doing model makings I am also choosing an outdoors place where to build. It is not about placing a predefined volume, but tailored to the outdoors.
This residency is the result to the first approach and begins the research.

CACiS Forn de la Calç
10 – 30 March
Outdoors, woods (Calders)

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