Fig. 641.01

Fig. 641.01 Tension Members Tend Toward Arcs of Ever Greater Radius:
  1. Slack rope and tensed rope: tensed rope tends toward "straight," i.e. toward arcs of ever greater radius, but never attains complete "straightness."
  2. As tension increases: neutral axis lengthens and girth contracts (becomes more compact). Therefore, the long-dimension profile arcs increase in radius and spiral arcs' "radii" increase in dimensions but never attain "straightness" of relation between two "fixed" points, as there are no experiences of fixed points and straight points.
  3. Tension goes toward arcing of larger and fewer different radii all ultimately spirally closing back on self. Tension: inherently comprehensive and finite. Compression goes toward relatively smaller radius and toward more of smaller and multiplying microcosmic differentiation. Compression: inherently local and infinite.
  4. Tension as gravity: a tension structure is nature's fundamental pattern-cohering principle.

Copyright © 1997 Estate of R. Buckminster Fuller