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David Georges Emmerich

©François Lauginie

  • Tétraèdre formé de six cables mis en tension, s. d.
  • Scale model
  • Bâtonnets, chaînettes
  • 13 x 17 x 17 cm
  • 996 02 30

Structures autotendantes

In 1958, utilizing a game of pick-up-sticks, Emmerich developed a principle for Tensegrity Structures (Structures Autotendantes), in which the equilibrium reached between traction and compression results in a stable and resistant construction. This assemblage of chains and rods, which constitute the bars and struts, define a polyhedral configuration in which the elements support each other. Tensegrity structures are modular systems; they are like a “game to cram together or freely scatter, a game of movement and growth, whose morphological richness, inherent to natural structures is practically inexhaustible” (Emmerich). Tensegrity structure, without foundation and temporary, can constitute the framework of a dwelling or the basic structure for a set of modular compartments. The assembly techniques Emmerich recommended – standardization and repetition of elements – must also enable the “development of do-it-yourself construction as a constructive and personalized leisure activity,” and ensure everyone has the right to build in a low-cost and democratic system.

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