art three fans conventional wooden rings signet ring arm chair steel bows eyes butterfly eternal wave bridge DNA ring ellipse tetrahedron icosahedron two icosahedrons cube octahedron saddle wurm 90 struts cube trophy ball more..


Balls and towers belong to the more conventional type of tensegrity structures. Maybe this page shows that the conventional type has it's own beautiful variations

Sun Star

With this tensegrity an effort was made to point the struts outwards like beams of a sun or a star. It is not very clear in this picture but the strings at the outside form twelve squares that are not connected with eachother.

The squares look a little like islands and that is typical because Fuller once described tensegrities as "islands of compression in an ocean of tension", but in this tensegrity the tendons (the tension part) also form islands. Perhaps, these islands are easier to spot in films where one can watch this object turning.

tensegrity 080
tensegrity 149

Icosahedron ball

This one might be less original or strange than the ball above but at least it is very round. It is a typical double layer tensegrity (a shell of strings at the inside and another shell of strings at the outside of the ball) based on a the form of a true icosahedron.

Also this tensegrity ball can be seen on filmswhere one can try to distinguish a few of the twelve pentagons that mark the icosahedron.

tensegrity 101

tensegrity 102

tensegrity 103

tensegrity 105

tensegrity 106

tensegrity 104
tensegrity 099

tensegrity 100


The most famous tower is made by Kenneth Snelson. In fact there are two: Needle Tower I in the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in the United States. It was made in 1968. The second one, Needle Tower II was build in Holland one year later. These pictures show a small variation on this Needle Tower. At the end of every strut there are only four strings, where the Needle Tower has five.

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tensegrity 135

In this tower all layers are "in the same direction" instead of the alternating conformations "right" and "left" as in the Needle Tower.

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tensegrity 139
tensegrity 137
A "Jan Marcus" tower: tensegrity 157
Marcelo Pars