Versatile Tensegrity

Tehran Visiting School 2010

Director: Omid Kamvari

Tutors: Theo Sarantoglou + Yousef Al-Mehdari + Omid Kamvari

This unit’s interest evolves around the properties of ruled surfaces in differential geometry and the possibilities of form offered by tensile membranes.
Students will begin by defining the conditions of tensile integrity through simple physical modeling exercises, followed by studies in the qualities of stretched fabric and doubly-curved membranes of different densities and porosities. In a discipline still partly anchored in the foundations of mathematics and topological studies, the unit will attempt to weave its way into art, visual understanding and reassert the rules of geometrical principles. The unit will finally push for an enigmatic form that permeates physical space and confounds psychological experience through the inventive use of tensile membranes.

Week 1
After a short introduction on surface performance and topological absolutes, the unit will investigate the various methods of constructing small scale analog geometry using the computational principles of bezier curves and splines (such as straight lines, fillets, lofting and ruled surfaces) to create both analytic and freeform geometries. Following a brief lecture on the subdivision of surfaces the students will be required to unwrap and analyze their geometries in order to gain an understanding on how to recreate them using incomplex components.

Week 2
The students will be required to populate their surfaces with ‘found’ components in order to recreate the subdivision established in the previous exercise. The culmination of which, will be a 1:1 scaled pavilion or canopy constructed through a collective effort by the entire unit and the tutors.


Tehran Visiting School 2010