Tensegrity in the MSLC: Buckminster Would be Proud

Building ThingLast week, Wayne Toepp and his middle school Installation Art class arrived in the Learning Commons with a bunch of cardboard squares and triangles, some lights and hot glue guns. Over the next hour and a half, a new structure took shape.

Outside is black and white while the inside is brightly colored and lit. The strength of the triangle is the magic of the geodesic dome, a structural priciple called tensegrity.

We associate the geodesic dome with Buckminster Fuller, but the very first one was a designed as a planetarium by Walther Bauersfeld, who was an engineer working for Zeiss at the time (1923). Twenty to thirty years later, Buckminster Fuller interpreted the domes as a way to solve a post-war housing shortage. And, sixty or so years after that, our middle school students worked with their art teacher to design a secluded cave in the midst of it all.

Perfectly sized for kids of all ages. Come and try it out.