Designer Creates Furniture Using Only Forces of Tension, No Nails Needed

Furniture designer Robby Cuthbert mixes architectural principles and organic forms in his sculptural pieces. Coffee tables, lamps, shelves, and chairs are all carefully crafted with wood and steel cables based on principles of tensegrity (or tension integrity). The results are pieces of light and airy modern furniture. The designer created furniture while using tension forces only.

A term coined by famed American architect Buckminster Fuller, tensegrity structures rely on an overall balance of tension to create stability. Think of a geodesic dome—light and delicate in appearance. It relies on the tension between interlocking parts for its architectural strength.

Designer Created Furniture Using Tension Forces

Using this theory, the Palo Alto-based furniture designer doesn’t rely on glue, screws, and nails to hold together his furniture. Instead, the pieces are engineered to perfection, with tension balanced in the steel cables or cantilevered to a single point. With each tensegrity structure representing a mixture of functional furniture and elegant artwork. It’s no wonder that Cuthbert studied studio art with an attraction toward architecture and sculpture.

Cuthbert’s cutting-edge furniture is available via his website, and he is also available for commission work. This contemporary furniture uses tension—not screws or nails—to hold its structure.

Leave a Comment