155 Westminster Ave. |

Arlington, MA 02174 |

January 30, 1982 |

Mr. Joe Clinton

Kean College

Dept. of Industrial Design

Union, NJ 07083

Dear Mr. Clinton,

I wrote to Buckminster Fuller's office asking for more information on the
mathematics of tensegrity and Janet Bregman-Taney referred me to you. I am
interested in the calculations that go into designing the structures outlined
in Fuller's basic tensegrity patent (#3,063,521), for example that in
Fig. 7. I am also interested in the calculations that go into
designing the more complex tensegrity structures Kenner alludes to in
__Geodesic Math__ (especially the rigid tensegrities of Chapter 6).

My interest in tensegrity is twofold: (1)What I've seen of the mathematics is fascinating and I would like to learn more. I didn't find Kenner's "Newtonian" framework very enlightening as a general conceptual model for tensegrity. The calculus framework I found very enlightening, but couldn't see how to extend it to more complex structures. I would like to learn some general mathematical programming techniques which are applicable to any tensegrity I might run into or conceive. This brings me to (2) which is that I've thought of some structures I would like to build (at least as models) and don't know how to do the requisite calculations. I should also add (3) that I think tensegrity is a very interesting construction technique and I would like to see it more widely applied in the design of offices, houses, tents, furniture. I hope by learning the principles myself I can spread it around a little.

I will appreciate any help you can give me in this matter, perhaps just references to theses, etc. that Fuller's students have written.

Sincerely, |

Bob Burkhardt |

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