Arch + Eng, Art, Design

Kenneth Snelson, May we Perpetuate Your Spirit of Radical Inquiry

We are deeply saddened to learn of Kenneth Snelson’s passing. An extraordinary artist, empiricist, theorist, and experimentalist, he was as gifted as he was humble. When Kenneth was a young student at Black Mountain College, Buckminster Fuller famously gleaned insights into the nature of “tensegrity” structures from one of Snelson’s early sculptures. While the consequences of this episode have been widely reported (as it is again in his New York Times obituary), Kenneth’s artistic experiments continued to illuminate many original ideas and insights throughout his lifetime. His creations ran the polymathic gamut across multiple scales, including (seemingly) gravity-defying sculptures, (analog) panoramic photography, and (speculative) models/animations of atomic structures. His pioneering work dissolved boundaries between art, science, design, engineering, media, and invention while also maintaining a unique quality of creative inquiry and intellectual integrity. May we perpetuate your spirit of radical inquiry in our ongoing attempts to cover the bases of our imagination. (and if you’d like to join in this transcalar quest, do yourself a favor and delve into Kenneth’s phenomenal cosmos of ideas and creations at