The Principle of Tensegrity

Tension + Integrity

The principle of tensegrity refers to structures that are given integrity by having different components in compression and tension.

The components in compression are typically some kind of column or rod. The components in tension are typically wires or cables. The often cited example of this principle is a suspension bridge, where cables in tension are supported by towers in compression.

Tensegrity is a principle we’ve spent more than a decade exploring. It’s a term coined by Buckminster Fuller, a portmanteau of ‘tensional’ and ‘integrity.’

In our tensegrity fixtures, each steel arm resists the tension of the cloth electrical cord to hold custom sockets aloft.

The tension element in our suspended fixtures starts at the ceiling, and carries down to our wiring hub, where it radiates out from there to connect to each socket.

The electrical wires aren’t just providing power to the sockets, they’re also structural.

The compression element in our tensegrity fixtures is provided by the brass or steel arms. One end of each arm supports the socket or shade, in this case a spun metal socket, and on the other end, a custom central block.

The principle of tensegrity produces exceptionally strong and rigid structures, made to last.