Tree Nets are Biotensegrity Structures

Biotensegrity is a complex term. I first came across it during my education at the Rolf Institute of Structural Integration, the school where I learned to be a Rolfer. My instructors used the terms “tensegrity” and “biotensegrity” to help us understand the webbing of fascia that makes up the human structure. A tensegrity structure is one which is held together entirely by tension and compression forces. There are numerous examples of tensegrity structures that can be found in architecture and engineering. Biotensegrity specifically refers to a tensegrity structure that acts on or within biology. Fascia is one example. All components of our bodies are sheathed in webbing, which is entirely interconnected with all the other structures, through a matrix of collagen and elastin. The tension between these structures is what actually holds our body together, gives us the ability to be upright in gravity, and enables us to move through the physical reality. Without biotensegrity in the form of fascia, we would look like this:

Another example of biotensegrity is tree roots. Tree roots form a structural network that holds tension within the earth. This underground tension is what gives trees the stability that enables them to grow tall, heavy, and sturdy. The more deeply rooted and widespread a tree’s underground tensegrity network is, the stronger the tree will be.

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A tree net is a tensegrity structure woven within a tree or a number of trees out of high tech ropes and cords. The trees are what give a tree net the “bio” component in biotensegrity. After all, a biotensegrity structure is simply a tensegrity structure that pertains to a biological organism, either a tree, an animal, or a plant. A tree net is connected to and reinforcing the inherent biotensegrity of an organism; therefore, a tree net is a biotensegrity structure.