Tensegrities and Global Rigidity
In 1947 a young artist named Kenneth Snelson invented an intriguing structure: a few sticks suspended rigidly in mid air without touching each other. It seemed like a magic trick. He showed this to the entrepreneur, builder, visionary, and self-styled mathematician, R. Buckminster Fuller, who called it a tensegrity because of its “tensional integrity.” Fuller talked about tensegrities and wrote about them extensively. Snelson went on to build a great variety of fascinating tensegrity sculptures all over the world, including the 60-foot work of art at the Hirschhorn Museum in Washington, DC. shown in Figure.