Tensegrity Furniture

The principle of tensegrity suggests many possibilities in the design of furniture and lighting devices. They are light weight, strong, resilient, and minimalist. The Suspension Chair, Crutch Table and Compass Table all work because the tensional net stabilizes the surfaces and legs in three dimensions but does not allow the compression elements to come into contact. This creates a dynamic relationship between the parts; all are necessary to the structure, none are superfluous.

The Suspension Chair took months to build- successive maquettes were required, each larger and more complex which allowed me to determine the placement of each leg in space so that they wouldn’t interfere with each other.

The Crutch Table was a whimsical treatment of the table genre. I liked the idea of using three crutches- which is the minimum necessary to hold up a table. Tensegrity prisms such as this table can have multiple struts though three proves to be the most stable.

The Compass Table was a rendering of the Masonic symbol – the intertwined compass and square in three dimensions. A carpenter’s square is paired with a wooden compass and the curved edge of the glass table top matches the radius of the compass arms.

floating lampshade

The Floating Lampshade has perhaps a Japanese influence – very minimal, ethereal, and yet elegant. The twelve panels also reminded me of the large sailing ships during the Age of Exploration.