Tensegrity structures are held together by tension elements. There are stiff rods but in a classic tensegrity these do not touch. They are quite simple to make and great fun. I couldn’t resist them for The Gecko’s Foot.
Tensegrity is now a very live area of nantechonological research thanks to more work at Harvard, developing tensegrity DNA structures. An editorial in Nature Nanotechnology (2010, 5, p. 473) stressed the links that can be made between macro and nano – tensegrity began with large sculptures but is now proving fruitful at the nanoscale. In this it is following the path that led from Buckminster Fuller’s architectural domes to the tiny C60 molecule named buckminsterfullerene in Fuller’s honour.