intension designs - biotensegrity modeling

About Intension Designs Ltd. and Bio-Tensegrity

Intension Designs Ltd. is a small design company based on the west coast of Canada. Its founder, Tom Flemons is an artist and inventor that has employed tensegrity principles for 30 years to design portable structures, free-standing fences, children's toys (Skwish), furniture, mobiles and sculptures.

He first noticed the formal resemblance between tensegrity masts and vertebral 'columns' in 1985 and built several models of a tensegral spine which he sold to doctors and chiropractors. A search of the medical literature on bio-mechanics revealed no one was exploring the similarity of spines and tensegrity masts. However an orthopedic surgeon - Dr. Stephen Levin was writing about the connection and eventually he and Tom met and began to work together in the 90's.

For over ten years, in collaboration with Dr. Levin, Tom has built many bio-tensegrity analogs of vertebrate anatomy and it has proved quite possible to model the body using tensegrity. Each iteration approaches a better accuracy and resolution of anatomy and in turn sparks insight into an explanation of bio-mechanics that does not require levers and fulcrums. These models offer researchers, therapists and health care professionals a 'hands on' experience of the tensegral human body. This research is a work in progress and feedback is welcome.

Contact us at:
Intension Designs Ltd.
248 Forest Ridge Road
Saltspring Island BC
V8K 1W4