Biotensegrity, The Structural Basis of Life


Graham SCARR

The author describes the second edition of this groundbreaking book not as an instruction manual but as a response to the frequently asked question: ‘What is (bio)tensegrity?’. Biotensegrity is an evolving science which provides researchers, teachers, and practitioners across a wide range of specialisms including all bodyworkers and movement teachers with a deeper understanding of the human body and therefore the ability to develop their clinical practice and therapeutic effectiveness in light of this understanding. This book explains the basic principles of biotensegrity and explores our understanding of anatomy and physiology in the light of the latest research findings.


Second Edition

New features of the second edition include:

  • Now in full color throughout
  • Expansion of the developmental and therapeutic aspects of biotensegrity to consider:
    • A more thorough look at life’s internal processes
    • Closed kinematic chains as the new biomechanics
    • Embryological development as an evolutionary process
    • The human body as a constantly evolving system based on a set of unchanging principles
    • Emergence, heterarchies, soft-matter and small-world networks
    • A deeper look at what constitutes the therapeutic process


  1. Tensegrity
  2. Simple geometry in complex organisms
  3. The balance of unseen forces
  4. The problem with mechanics
  5. The autonomous cell
  6. The twist in the tale
  7. The ease of motion
  8. The ‘hard’ and the ‘soft’
  9. A closer look
  10. ‘Complex’ patterns in biology
  11. Biotensegrity: a rational approach to biomechanics
  12. Biotensegrity: the structural basis of life


  1. Tensegrity models
  2. Muscle volume and crossed helical fiber angle
  3. The questionable hydrostat
  4. The avian lung
  5. Closed-chain kinematics and embryological development

Additional information

Dimensions 23.4 × 15.6 cm

Graham SCARR


Handspring Publishing




Paperback, eBook






140 drawings and 134 color photographs


6 November 2018