Tensegrity structures are structures where the physical integrity of the structure depends on tensional forces rather than the common compressive forces that maintain the integrity of structures such as buildings. The name was coined by the renowned American architect Buckminster Fuller famous for the invention of the geodesic dome. Most tensegrity structures consist of rigid materials such as rods or blocks attached to each other by cords or cables, where the weight of the rigid materials creates tension on the cables which keeps the rigid materials in place. The apparent distribution in space of the rigid materials of tensegrity structures often seems to defy gravity, and many such structures have been produced for entertainment or as works of art or architecture. However, the principles of tensegrity structures are also found at work in biology such as in the interplay between muscles, bones, and tendons, and even in the cytoskeletons of cells.
In the video below, the folks of the YouTube channel Home Science display a tensegrity structure and show how to build it.