body geometry and tensegrity


The organisational structure of a body and how this relates to gravity, defines its physical stability. Some people are constantly at war with gravity, in an attempt to stand upright.

It is useful to look at the geometry of the body by using the principles of tensegrity, the balance between tension and compression, initially developed by the sculptor Kenneth Snelson and the designer Buckminster Fuller. In a tensegrity structure, forces simultaneously push and pull against each other to maintain a strong but flexible shape. Related to physiology and biological structures, the bones are the compression members and the muscles and fascia are the surrounding tension members. The idea is that if you want to change the position of the bones, then you need to change the tensional balance in the muscles and fascia. A change of tension anywhere within the system is instantly transmitted to everywhere else in the body and as a result, changes the shape of the whole structure.