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Responsive Structures: Ephemeral

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A membrane tensegrity system balances the compressive and tensile structural elements to produce a stable whole. Buckminster Fuller, who coined the term tensegrity (combining the words tensional and integrity) in 1962, described compressive struts (i.e., rods) as “islands of compression in a sea of tension.”

In this context, Stanford students taking the course CEE32H: Responsive Structures, led by instructors Beverly Choe and Jun Sato, explore how to “grow” this structural system into a large-scale assemblage that responds to the specificities of the site. Their investigations will culminate in the fabrication of the full-scale installation in front of the Anderson Collection during the weekend of May 21-22, viewable to visitors May 23 – Jun 5.

About CEE32H: Responsive Structures
CEE32H: Responsive Structures is a course offered in Stanford’s Architectural Design Program. Straddling the disciplines of architecture and structural engineering, this course asks students to develop a membrane tensegrity system to form a sculptural installation on the grounds of the Anderson Collection. Primarily using slender hardwood dowels and Amaike Super organza fabric (which weighs just 5 grams per meter), students explore the spatial, organizational, and experiential potential of these materials.