While I do my best not to repeat myself, and experiment a bit while I'm showing my work, I have a set of structures which I always bring build up. Some others travel with me, and depending on how busy I am otherwise, might appear a bit later.
Preparing the sticks takes the most time, and becomes nearly like meditation. Otherwise, it would just plain boring :) Depending on the material the first step is cutting the material to equal length, then drilling all the tiny slits properly aligned at the end. Then I cut the required strings to length, knot the ends, trim off the excess, and seal the knot in non-stretchy tendons.
For most objects I then thread the string in a specific way through the slits, ending up with a bunch of sticks with strings attached. That's when the fun begins, assembling some kind of two-dimensional pieces into a three-dimensional object.
While it takes usually just some minutes to assemble one of the 'standard' models, each of it has at least an hour of work in it. Experiments might keep me busy for days before I succeed or move on, as well as spray painting struts for special effects.
Many aspects attract me to my creations. They define space while remaining open. They look fragile, yet showing resilience. They change appearance from different perspectives. They feel in surprising ways when touched. They embody doing more with less. They encode basic patterns of Universe.
You cannot capture the impression of shapeshifting while walking along a tensegrity structure, or turning it around in your hands, in a still shot. The mind cannot predict the transformation, and instead will detect more and more patterns in it. Your hands will find out in which way a structure wants to go, and which shape it resists.
The sticks don't touch, held in position by a network of strings. The pure expression of nature's main engineering principle seems to defy gravity, an optical truth unravelling the mystery of life. Or, if you prefer, something awesome to look at and play with.
|6 strut icosahedron|
|3 colour 6 strut icosahedron|
The 20 cm version comes in 3 colours, which basically can be a combination of the three primary colours (red, blue, yellow) and the 3 secondary colours (purple, green, orange).
Another highly popular model is the 15cm octahedron in four colours. It feels very pliable, and can be placed so that three sticks of the same colour point upwards, or so that all four colours come together to form a square.
|Four colour octahedron|
|20 cm black tipped octahedron|
|Face-bonded 3 colour dual tetrahedra|
Diamond derives its hardness from the crystalline structure. On the smallest scale, diamonds grow as face-bonded tetrahedra. I wonder how many people potentially subconsciously know the secret to of this structure, and get attracted to it.
|20 cm face-bonded tetrahedra|
In the 20 cm variation the coloured strut represent the edges where the two tetrahedra meet. The object squeezes only in one direction, yet balances on each of the five (stellated) corners. If you don't like the colours, but the shape, your preferred colour combination can be build in very short time.
|yin yang cuboctahedron|
This 24 strut structure, based on the geometry of the Vector Equilibrium, is the largest collapsible object in my collection. I used to build this shape with four colours instead of just black, yet this variation exceeded my expectation by far.
While this model can't collapse, you can still fold it. It's the simplest model to demonstrate how to levitate one of the sticks.
This model shows a seesaw without any hinges, either end of the white stick and stably rest on the ground, in all three orientations.
|10 strut dodecahedron|
The network of strings in this object shape a slightly irregular dodecahedron. The combination of non-elastic and elastic string multiply the number of hidden shapes one can discover in it.
This object has 12 nodes aligned like the corners of an icosahedron, yet the tension network creates six hexagonal openings. It's safe to handle, yet might break easily when pressure is applied.
As mentioned initially, photos can only show a single perspective, and some them even surprised me, as I attempted to capture my work in a new way. I usually have lots of material with me to custom build any of the above objects - difficult requests can often be done on the spot, impossible requests might take some days :)