Read here about Constructivism, a philosophy that had great influence on the development of tensegrity and other innovations in the structural arts.


Constructivism was an artistic and architectural philosophy that originated in Russia beginning in 1919 as a rejection of the idea of autonomous art. The movement promoted art as a practice for social purposes. Constructivism had a great effect on modern art movements of the 20th century, influencing major trends such as the Bauhaus and De Stijl movements. Its influence was pervasive, with major impacts upon architecture, graphic and industrial design, theatre, film, dance, fashion and to some extent music.

Constructivism had a direct influence on the discovery of tensegrity. These influences were acknowledged in various ways by founders and original pioneers Snelson, Fuller, Emmerich and others, but the critical role of Ioganson awaited the detective work done by scholars like Maria Gough and Juris Sils.

From Russia to North Carolina

Tensegrity's best-known founding story is based on events at Black Mountain College, North Carolina, summer of 1948 when Kenneth Snelson's produced some tensegrity sculptures while working with Richard Buckminster Fuller.

Constructivism's philosophy permeated the Black Mountain College faculty.

Links and References

[1] Constructivism, wikipedia
[2] In the Laboratory of Constructivism, Karl Ioganson's Cold Structures by Maria Gough. October, Vol. 84. (Spring, 1998), pp. 90-117. Stable URL:
[3] Maria Gough. The Artist as Producer: Russian Constructivism in Revolution. - University of California Press, 2005. - ISBN 0-520-22618-6 .

Portal to History
A series on history and scholarship.
History> Chronology, Constructivism, 4D Geometry
Scholars > Gómez Jáuregui, Sils
See also Portal To Basic Concepts