Kenneth Snelson attended one of Fuller's Dymaxion Seminars at Black Mountain College in 1948. He was inspired to work on his own prototype structures employing discontinuous compression later that year, and when he returned to Black Mountain he shared his discovery with Fuller.

Fuller saw the significance of Snelson's work for his own Energetic Geometry, the precursor of synergetics. He coined the neologism "tensegrity" and incorporated the concept into his own work. To begin with, Fuller credited Snelson for his contribution, but this gradually ceased, which made Snelson feel that his crucial discovery had been hijacked. This caused a permanent rift between them.

For Snelson, this behaviour indicated a flaw in Fuller's character which may shed light on the problems Fuller faced in gaining acceptance for his ideas.



Paul Taylor 2001