My Aesthetic and Tensegrity Sculpture Plans

My personal aesthetic is not something I think about too often, but if I were to sum it up, I would include the mixed concepts of minimalism, functionable, sporty, and technical. I am drawn to aesthetics that have technical or mechanical aspects rather than purely creative and like products that have functionable features on top of looking nice. For example, on the walls of my room I have several mechanical drawings of skiing equipment like bindings and ski poles like the ones shown below. These are nice polished looking prints that add to the ski mountain posters next to them, but I prefer them due to their inherent explanation of how these products are made and their internal components, with no extra ornamental elements included.


A major movement this draws upon is the secession movement which I learned extensively about in this past summer during a May-Mester in Austria, which was an area this movement flourished in. This movement was based around moving away from the ornamental style that had been prominent until the 19th century. The secession movement created a place and platform for artists to remove ornamental aspects inspired by historical architecture and move towards minimalism and functionality. This is something I kept in mind throughout my upcycle project because I wanted to create something that was not only interesting to look at and required some digging to uncover how it actually works, but also has the simple but practical functionality of a small table.

For my final project I wanted to keep the tensegrity idea as a basis, but to complete a sculpture rather than a practical, functional product. This does run against the grain of everything I just said above, but I want to explore the tensegrity aesthetic and play around with its versatile uses. I have an idea in the works and am excited to plan out and design it. It will consist of a horizontally mounted tensegrity sculpture similar to the one above but on its side, and features a struggling engineering student attempting to escape the platform behind it (representing the engineering classes we struggle through). Rather than cables I want to introduce chains as a medium for applying the tension to display the student nearly escaping into the real engineering world but is held back by the work still left to be completed. This represents myself and the other engineering students in their last semester here at CU who are about to graduate… but not quite yet.


Works Cited: Ski Binding Device Patent Prints, ski shoes blueprint art … (n.d.). Retrieved March 8, 2023, from

Projects. (Gallery) – Santiago Calatrava – Architects & Engineers. (n.d.). Retrieved March 8, 2023, from

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Maddie O'Brien
    March 12, 2023 4:20 pm

    Hi Ben, I’m super excited to see where you go with your project. Your first tensegrity table was awesome and I really enjoyed listening to your process building it. Are you planning on changing the size of the second one?

  • Hi Ben, I enjoy the prints of the mechanical drawings and blueprints as they look clean and are interesting as they showcase all the product features. I believe that a tensegrity sculpture could turn out to look cool and sleek. Do you have a plan to make the sculpture dynamic?


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