The term "tensegrity" was coined by Buckminster Fuller in the 1960s as a portmanteau of "tensional integrity".[more]
Indeed, seeing tensegrity makes understanding it easier. The official descriptions are more complicated, such as this one from Wikipedia :
"Tensegrity, tensional integrity or floating compression, is a structural principle based on the use of isolated components in compression inside a net of continuous tension, in such a way that the compressed members (usually bars or struts) do not touch each other and the prestressed tensioned members (usually cables or tendons) delineate the system spatially."[less]
Neither the sticks nor the ropes can change positions. You can lift up the construct from any stick end without it changing shape.
Build some yourself, and you will get a feeling for it.
Click the "example" popup menu or use the "" buttons to select an example.
The next controls are straightforward: you can select the colors and thicknesses of the sticks and ropes, and you can choose to show a floor (square area) and its color.
 Wikipedia. "Tensegrity." (Jun 20, 2017) en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tensegrity.