Institut d’Arts Visuels, Orleans, France, 2008

Coordinators: Aleksandra Jaeschke with Daniel Coll I Capdevila

The workshop addressed lightness in architecture exploring the concept of TENSEGRITY.

Tensegrity structures are networks of interconnected compressive and tensile members in which tensile members keep the arrangement of disconnected compression members in a stable equilibrium. Hence, the word “tensegrity”, is Buckminister Fuller’s contraction of the words “Tensile” and “Integrity”, suggesting that integrity or, as we would say, stability of the structure comes from tension. In a tensegrity structure the rigid bodies such as wooden bars or hollow tubes have no contact, thus providing extraordinary freedom to control form, by controlling only tendons.

Our aim was to build one-to-one tensegrity arches. During the first two days the students developed small working models in order to understand the structural principles and to plan the large-scale prototypes. They worked with wooden bars and thin elastic membranes to quickly understand the behaviour of the emerging structures and to then replace the fabric with carefully distributed network of tendons. During the remaining days we worked in three groups on the one-to-one constructions in Campo Santo.

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