PX | Hooke's Continuous Structure | No. 01


Hooke's Continuous Structure


Project Data





Boston, Massachusetts, USA



Artifact / Environment



ABS plastic



Michael Leighton Beaman

Project Description

“The power of any Spring is in the same proportion with the Tension thereof: That is, if one power stretch or bend it one space, two will bend it two, three will bend it three, and so forward. And this is the Rule of Law of Nature, upon which all manner of Restituent of Springing motion doth proceed”    -Robert Hooke 1676

Continuity of structural elements allows for an endless transfer of load from element to element until it reaches a terminal position. Deflection can become a mode of stress transfer as long as the point of transfer, or co-planarity, between two or more structural members occurs within a region in which deflection does not surpass the material’s Modulus of Elasticity:

This technique of load transfer at stressor points produces a three dimensional transfer of load.  A primary focus of this project, the three-dimensional transfer of load was initiated as a response to an essay by architect and engineer Eladio Dieste.  Diesete notes that the development of the two dimensional structural bay is a product of the limited ability to calculate structural loads via lines projected to planes through section, plan or elevation. Aggregation in this system is limited is strictly linear. The structural bay concentrates knowledge into discrete assemblies – expansion becomes a product of addition.

This project examines the possibility of structures generated through three-dimensional packing volumes, utilizing deflection as a mode of strengthening structural performance among thin, springy, and otherwise non-compressive members. Here each structural member is defined by its position within a guide volume.  Each member is made from extruded polypropylene a plastic with a high rubber content. The part to whole relationship is ambiguous in that the point of connect between elements can migrate along any loop defined by the guide volume and can be subdivide into any length smaller than the loop.