Chris Rywalt's Synergetics Photo Page

This is a picture of a dome near Philadelphia. It appears to be used to house antennae and satellite dishes.

This is a picture of what is probably the most famous geodesic in the world, namely the Geosphere at Walt Disney World, Florida. Disney's promotional literature claims that this isn't a geodesic, because they say geodesics are only partial spheres and this is a whole sphere. They're wrong: being geodesic has nothing to do with how much of the sphere is present. Actually, the name geodesic as applied to domes or spheres is something of a misnomer, as modern geodesic designs only occasionally employ full great circles. In the next photo, which has the exploded polyhedron faces delineated, you can see that the Geosphere is what's called a Class II (or triacon) breakdown by Hugh Kenner in Geodesic Math. It's a 16-frequency sphere. (Thanks to George Hart for pointing me back to Geodesic Math to figure this out.) That is, rather than subdividing the triangular faces of an icosahedron, as you would in a Class I, you subdivide the rhombic faces of a rhombic triacontahedron -- a thirty-sided solid.

This is the Geosphere from another angle. (Looks like a postcard, doesn't it? But it ain't -- I'm just a talented photographer.)

This is a sculpture outside of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. It's not attributed or titled as far as I could find, but Jay Kappraff in his very good book Connections attributes it to Kenneth Snelson (not too much of a surprise) and calls it Needle Tower. (Kappraff's book also has a photo of it which is almost identical to mine.) And Joe Moore helpfully writes: `` `Needle Tower' was designed by Kenneth Snelson in 1968 out of aluminum and stainless steel. It is 60' x 20'4" x 17'5". It is a Tensegrity Tower. It was designed for and is installed in the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.''

This is Needle Tower from underneath. In fact, I got this shot quite by accident: I was looking for the sculpture's attribution after having taken a picture from the side when I noticed a patch of ground that had been worn grass-free underneath the structure. Curious, I stood on that spot and looked up, and was rewarded with the view you see here. Who says you should always take the road less travelled by?

And this is a photo taken by my wife. It shows me demonstrating a toy called the Vector Flexor which models Fuller's ``jitterbug.'' It's a cool toy -- and it amazes and impresses my friends.

Copyleft © 1995 Christopher Rywalt.