Tension Design Sculpture

Welcome to Tension Designs

I design and make Tensegrity structures that are scaled to be held in your hands. These structures have great tensile strength and are appealing to the eye as well as to the touch.

There are two great influences on my work. The first is R. Buckminister “Bucky” Fuller.

I was privileged to correspond with him and to meet with him on several occasions. I read virtually every book that he wrote and hundreds of magazine articles by or about him.

It has always been a challenge to interpret his philosophy and his geometry into realized artifacts.

The second influence on these Tensegrity structures is Kenneth Snelson. Mr. Snelson is the great artist of Tensegrity. He has turned what could be called scientific principals into works of beauty. Kenneth’s work is on a monumental scale as can be seen in his “Needle Tower” that resides in the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture garden, at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

At The North Face, in 1976, I was very involved in the development and manufacture of the Oval Intention, the first geodesic mountaineering tent that revolutionized the world of backpacking tents.

I have been making Tensegrity structures since 1971, and have made more than a hundred unique ones.

A few years ago, I discovered The Continuous Tension Harness. This tension network allows me to make Tensegrity masts from a lot of different struts. I have made masts with aluminum arrow shafts, driftwood, toothbrushes, screwdrivers, large knitting needles, ball point pens, mechanical pencils, and chopsticks.

Each model is handmade, to order, by me.

All of these tensegrities can be assembled and taken apart by the buyer. The least bit of instruction and you can have the real thrill of feeling a tension structure come together and come to life in your own hands.

Yes, you can buy these remarkable examples of true tensegrities.

Please contact me.