Knit Tensegrity Shell

Knit Tensegrity Shell is a novel structural type that taps on principles of tensegrity to create an ultra-lightweight, free-spanning structure that can be erected quickly with unskilled labor. It consists of two main elements: a continuous bespoke textile membrane and a series of linear compressive struts that work in tandem to create an elastic shell in equilibrium.

Knit Tensegrity Shell Pavilion by Dynamic Assemblies Lab is a 4.5-meter diameter by 3-meter tall, one-to-one scale prototype of this novel structure type.  Leveraging on iterative physical prototyping and digital form-finding simulations, the pavilion’s 3-dimensional curved shell geometry is created by rationalizing linear strut members in a reciprocal configuration within a textile membrane.

The struts are inserted into integrated pocket details within a bespoke tailored membrane that is machine-knitted out of elastic spandex yarns. The resultant tensioned elastic shell is weighted onto the ground using nine 3D printed bases that can be re-positioned to meet the diverse spatial needs and uncertain terrains of the urban and natural environments.

Knit Tensegrity Shell Pavilion has been recognized for its innovation, winning the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS) 2019 innovative lightweight structures international competition. Knit Tensegrity Shell is funded and supported by the Digital Manufacturing and Design Centre (DmanD) in Singapore University of  Technology and Design.