DIY: Tensegrity Tables

Buckminster Fuller is one of TreeHugger's heroes. Aside from his awesomely radical, ultra-efficient designs, of which the geodesic dome is probably most well-known, anyone who wrote a book called "Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth" gets 'hugged for sure. One of his other concepts, coined for artist Kenneth Snelson, is "tensegrity" -- the combination of tensional integrity -- which results "when push and pull have a win-win relationship with each other," and it can create some really interesting designs from a minimal amount of materials. Take the tensegrity table, for example; by carefully combining "push-pull" elements, a table can be created from a single rod, a piece of glass and a handful of steel wires. Pretty cool, but also pretty expensive; this one (pictured above, on the left) goes for £449 and this one for £766 -- ouch. Justin over at materialicious recently came across several DIY versions that employ the same idea and physics, but can be yours for a small fraction of the price, given your willingness to put a few hours of math and labor into it. They all use fairly similar combinations of materials: small variations on copper tubing, picture-hanging wire, rivets, rubber stoppers and a glass tabletop are about all you need; the
one from Trevor's home page is pictured above, at right, but there are similar tables (all complete with instructions) at and MAKE: Blog (pictured after the jump). We've covered a similar project before -- a DIY version MoMA's Satellite Bowl -- that might look good on top of your new Tensegrity table. Check 'em all out and learn more about having a small piece of a Bucky Fuller idea at ::materialicioustensegrity-glass-table-copper.jpg
Instructions available at
This one via MAKE: Blog

Tags: Buckminster Fuller | Tables


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