Read here about tensegrity concepts as they relate to animals, the animal kingdom, and the depiction of animals.

Overview


The study of tensegrity in animals is usually an application of Myers Anatomy Trains approach to comprehending the interplay of fascia and bone in vertebrates.

Horse


Snelson's Use of Horse Names in Tensegrity Sculpture


Snelson reports that his sculpture titles come from unorthodox sources: "A number of them are named after discontinued race horse names that he found in a handbook put out by the Jockey Club." These include Free Ride Home, Triple Crown and Easy Landing. [1]

Kenneth Snelson Free Ride Home tensegrity 1974.jpg
Free Ride Home, one of three Kenneth Snelson tensegrity sculptures on public display, named after a horse.


triple crown by Snelson.jpg
Triple Crown, one of three Kenneth Snelson tensegrity sculptures on public display, named after a horse.


Easy Landing by Snelson.jpg
Easy Landing, one of three Kenneth Snelson tensegrity sculptures on public display, named after a horse.


Horse Injuries and Tensegrity


Rachel Heart, DVM, gives presentations called "Clinical Applications of Tensegrity: Beyond the Motor Unit". In the talk she analyzes activity induced injuries in horses. Heart argues that fascial-web tensegrity principles can be applied to increase the ability to absorb and distribute force, and avoid injury. Click here for Heart's website, heartequine.com

Rabbit


Tomohiro Tachi proposed a novel method for designing tensegrity structures. To illustrate its effectiveness at specifying freeform structures, he illustrated the paper with a tensegrity outlining the form of a rabbit.

tensegrity-bunny-image-12.jpg
Freeform tensegrity outlining the form of a rabbit by Tomohiro Tachi


From the abstract: In this paper, we propose a novel interactive method for flexibly designing tensegrity structures under valid force equilibriums. Unlike previous form-finding techniques that aim to obtain a unique solution by fixing some parameters such as the lengths of elements and force densities, our method provides a design system that allows a user to continuously interact with the form within a multidimensional solution space. First, a valid initial form is generated by converting a given polygon mesh surface into a strut-and-cable network that approximates the mesh, and the form is then perturbed to attain an equilibrium state through a two-step optimization of both node coordinates and force densities. Then, the form can be freely transformed by using a standard 2D input device while the system updates the form on the fly based on the orthogonal projection of a deformation mode into the solution space. The system provides a flexible platform for designing a tensegrity form for use as a static architectural structure or a kinetic deployable system.

A video of Tachi using his freeform method:



Link: http://www.tsg.ne.jp/TT/cg/

Animal Enclosures


Poultry Shed


Nikhil Vyas produced a model of a poultry shed or chicken coop: see Poultry Shed By Vyas for more details.

poultry shed by vyas.PNG
Poultry Shed By Nikhil Vyas.


Aviary


Christian Alexy produced tensegrity based enclosures for animals, such as an aviary, pictured below.

poultry.PNG
Aviray by Alexy, Front View



References and Links


[1] Kenneth Snelson, Forces Made Visible, Hard Press Editions, Lenox, MA, p. 25

Portal to Art & Design
A series on objects, from high art to industrial design.
Crafts> Jewelry
Lighting> Bartosik, Clar, Gobo
Sculpture> Needle Tower, Torus, Chirality, Stavrev, Bolitho
Furnishings> Furniture, Achkov, Akke, Stavrev, ETSAV Chair, Stools by Weller, Rasmussen, Passi
Misc> Animal forms, Bicycle, Clothing, Kite, Mesh Bag, Musical Instruments, Holidays, Wheelchair
People> Di Carlo, Snelson, Clar, Martin, Bartosik, Buchanan, Cuthbert, van Dokkum