terça-feira, novembro 29, 2005

Building in a bag.

See just this Post & Comments / 1 Comments so far / Post a Comment /   Home
Next, Back, Thread Ahead: Tensegrity Architecture.

This looks like a good thing - a bit heavy maybe.

Back in 1979, two of my teachers at Architecture School, Jim Strutt and Bill Dawson, they had a company called Descon International ... anyway the three of us designed a survival shelter - a rhombicubocatahedron tensegrity made of Fabrene, cardboard tubes and beach balls. That was for Pakistan too - there was some war that year and there were tens of thousands of people living in fields in the rain, Afghanis who had fled across the border? I don't remember. We called it a Renaissance Yurt.

We put the Fabrene together with an experimental double-sided tape from 3M. Now woven polyethelene is strong and good and cheap stuff but it is still polyethylene and there is a small fraction of liquid ethylene in it, and this liquid tends to migrate to the surface. We put our prototype up on the front lawn of the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa, with the assistance of some hippies who had a Peace Camp going on there. It stood up long enough for some photographs to be taken - made the paper the next day - but by the next day enough ethylene collected to let the tape slip and it subsided gently into a heap.

And that was that.

Thermal welding might have worked, but the strength characteristics of the high density polyethylene core of Fabrene would make quality control touchy - any temperature spike would denature the core. A modified tape with an additive to react with or absorb ethylene was another possibility. In the end, other matters interceded and we went our separate ways.

The 'invention' of Tensegrity is often erroneously attributed to Buckminster Fuller. In fact it was Kenneth Snelson who found it and brought it to him - Snelson was one of Bucky's students at the time. But neither of them invented it - the principle is that universal. I think we have to allow God, or the Great Yin Yang, or that vast repository of archetypes the Spiritus Mundi, as the originator. I myself dreamed it one day, from first principles, and briefly ran through the streets - "Eureka!".

Tags: , , , .
Posted novembro 29, 2005 8:32 PM by Anonymous Anônimo /  

yipee. ;i have come across jim struts stuff online in my search for orgami models. I am still into it if you find something kinda fancy looking that doesn't require any fasteners. hey mom, look at me, I blogged.