TENSEGRITY IN ROPE
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This project capitalizes on the spatial limitations, the circulation, and the orientation of the entry foyer to fill and entangle its residual spaces with a woven web. The canopy is conceived of as structural system composed of compressive and tensile members, vaguely based on the principle of tensegrity. However, the members are arranged in geometric variations and permutations that orchestrate the canopy in different ways: compressing the threshold at corridor, expanding the weave at the edge towards the entry, and rotating the system in relationship to the staircase.
Contrary to conventional tensegrity systems, whereby tensile and compressive elements are cast as opposing materials, we have investigated the medium of rope to resolve all structural forces; by limiting the research to a singular material, the idea is to radicalize rope’s tectonic potentials — making it perform in a manner that is customarily reserved for multiple media. Cast in resin, certain rope members are stiffened to act in compression, contradicting the conventional performance of rope’s tensile qualities.
At the same time, the medium of rope comes replete with a well-developed syntax of connections (knots, splicing, whippings, seizings, braidings, among other joints) that can be manipulated and transformed for purposes outside of their conventional chores. Moreover, the language of parts can be seized upon for their ability to perform multiple functions that coalesce in one singular installation. Operating within the logic of a web, the installation is ambivalent and contradictory, absorbing compressive and tensile functions –not to mentions spatial and programmatic mandates— into a unitary tectonic and material logic.
Project Design: Monica Ponce de Leon + Nader Tehrani
Project Team: Hansy Luz Better, Tali Buchler, Kristen Giannattasio, Christine Mueller
Project Installation: Shannon Bennett, Breanna Carlson, Mayuko Imai, Jason McCann, Andrew Pribuss, Michael Sims Jr.