Floating Bones 102: Rules for Loosely-Coupled Structures (Like You)


The things we build and use are tightly-coupled and compression-based: toys, furniture, vehicles, buildings, etc. We presume this is the only way to create structure, but nature has a different idea.

Kenneth Snelson invented floating compression models in the late 1940s; Buckminster Fuller called the principle tensegrity. Fuller noted, “All [natural] structures, properly understood, from the solar system to the atom, are tensegrity structures.”

Today, researchers are modeling our musculoskeletal system as a tensegrity—a radical departure from the traditional “levers and hinges” anatomical model. What can this shift of perspective mean for us today? What are the Big Rules for effectively and efficiently controlling loosely-coupled structures?

What would be possible if we allowed our bones to float in our bodies … right now?

Phil Earnhardt

Website http://www.floatingbones.com/

Phil is an engineer, mathematician, and linguist. He has extensively studied tensional integrity models and their application to living structure.

Tensegrity is remarkable but not mystical; it’s simply a concept that few of us have ever explored. Experienced body/mind instructors typically have a strong intuitive grasp of tensegrity, but they lack the vocabulary to relate those concepts in geek-speak. Geeks may not realize the vast body of knowledge, experience, and heart that body/mind workers bring to their craft.

Phil bridges the worlds of holistic movement and whole-systems thinking.