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Sculpture, Tensegrity  

FINDING IT: “Tensegrity” is located in the Engineering Centers Building atrium.

When the Engineering Centers Building is completed, “Sixty-Strut Tensegrity,” a massive stainless-steel-and-wire sculpture designed by visionary engineer-inventor-artist R. Buckminster Fuller, will hang at the entrance to its atrium.

Fuller is best known for inventing the geodesic dome, but also devised tensional integrity, or tensegrity. Tensegrity is a structural-relationship principle in which each component of an architectural system stabilizes the others by balancing forces of compression and tension.

Commissioned by a Dayton, Ohio, bank, Fuller created the 500-pound, 9-foot-diameter sculpture in 1979. From the bank it traveled to the Dayton Art Museum, where it remained until workers renovating the museum disassembled the sculpture and stowed it in the basement.

The sculpture resurfaced at a Chicago art show, where donor Leah Temkin spotted it and decided it would be a fitting gift to the college in memory of her husband, chemical engineering alumnus Blair “Bud” Temkin.

Donated by Leah “Lee” Temkin and family.
Installed Aug. 6, 2002, dedicated Aug. 12, 2002.

Related link: Photo exhibit: Tensegrity

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Copyright 2001 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System
Date last modified: 21-May-2002 10:21:00 CST
Date created: 21-May-2002
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