The Stephen M Levin Biotensegrity Archive

About the Biotensegrity Archive

The Stephen M. Levin Biotensegrity Archive (the Archive) is dedicated to advancing the theory of biotensegrity, which posits that
Kenneth Snelson’s and Buckminster Fuller’s architectural concept of tensegrity applies to living systems from sub-cellular to whole-organism levels, and explains how biological structures develop by responding advantageously to physical forces. (All links on this page will open in new browser window.) The insights of biotensegrity theory carry tremendous implications for improved approaches to surgery, design of protective headgear and other equipment, vehicular crash modeling, robotics and physical rehabilitation, sports medicine, and other applications in fields of health and wellness and beyond, such as in systems science, soft matter physics and biomimicry.

Stephen M. Levin, M.D., is the originator of the term “biotensegrity” and, during his long career in both orthopedic surgery and manual medicine, has developed, refined, and taught its understanding and applications. Numerous academics and professionals around the world have been involved in studying and applying biotensegrity in a variety of fields, some for over three decades, and the Archive has been established to give their diverse efforts an institutional home so that they can continue to expand, while preserving the integrity and authenticity of the theory and capturing and building on the knowledge Dr. Levin has accumulated.

The Archive is, and plans to be, involved in the following activities: 1) Establishing and maintaining the Stephen M. Levin Biotensegrity Archive, 2) Fostering and Forwarding Discovery, Research and Understanding in the fields of Science, Health and Medicine, and Beyond, 3) Education, 4) Building Community, and 5) Raising Public Awareness.

1) Establishing and maintaining the Stephen M. Levin Biotensegrity Archive

The organization will establish and maintain the Stephen M. Levin Biotensegrity Archive, and it will make information and materials contained in the archive accessible to the academic community, the media and the general public electronically at first, and eventually through maintaining one or more physical locations.

Currently some of Dr. Levin’s papers, commentaries, and video recordings are publicly available at, on ResearchGate and on YouTube and other websites. In addition, a collection of virtual and physical archive materials is located at Dr. Levin’s residence, where access is granted by appointment.

The Institute plans to develop its website to supplement, expand on and eventually include the material at Physical archive materials will continue to be accessible by appointment, and also as part of the week-long intensive mentorship workshops the Archive coordinates and sponsors. As funds become available, a physical space will be established to house the physical models and other materials.

2) Fostering and Forwarding Discovery, Research and Understanding in the fields of Science, Health and Medicine, and Beyond

The Archive provides logistical support for Dr. Levin’s role as mentor and advisor to medical and wellness professionals, scientific and medical researchers, educational, scientific and medical organizations, and students and educators worldwide. It recognizes that researchers in diverse fields are looking to biotensegrity to inspire innovation, and seeks to support this trend.

For example, the Archive sponsored Dr. Levin’s participation in the world’s first biotensegrity-informed
Thiel cadaver dissection in Dundee, Scotland in July, 2015, and supported Dr. Levin’s development of biotensegrity-related questions for the American Association of Orthopedic Medicine certification exam, at the Association’s request. In addition, the Archive sponsored Dr. Levin’s participation in three national and regional Feldenkrais Institute events in 2015, as well as Dr. Levin’s consultant work for NASA in their tensegrity robotics program, which has led to the development of the NASA Tensegrity Robotics Toolkit (NTRT) and the SuperBall Bot Tensegrity Planetary Lander.

The Archive plans to take on the role of clearinghouse for all information related to Stephen M Levin's definition of biotensegrity, and will continue to sponsor Dr. Levin’s participation in biotensegrity-related events.

Dr. Levin’s ideas for future research in biotensegrity and related areas will be collected and catalogued. The Archive will provide leadership in defining an agenda for research in biotensegrity and related areas, in attracting new researchers, and in raising project funds to advance the field. It intends to propose and support studies at the University post-doc level which test for and which may demonstrate proof of, or value of, various aspects of biotensegrity theory, and which will offer biotensegrity as a new paradigm for understanding biologic structures.

The Archive will monitor, catalog and support research, discovery, trends and innovations in fields which look to biotensegrity theory for useful models and ideas to spark innovation, such as business, biomimicry, soft matter physics, psychology and economics.

The Archive will continue to support and promote Dr. Levin’s ongoing research, including collaborations and his advising the research of others. It plans to provide Dr. Levin with research assistants and associates as needed, and will continue to seek out and nurture those in emerging and related fields whose work connects with or may extend from biotensegrity and related theories.

3) Education

The Archive is involved in educating the general public and professionals about the theory of biotensegrity through support of
Biotensegrity Interest Group (BIG) meetings, creation of programs for professional conferences, and sponsorship of week-long mentorship workshops with Dr. Levin.

Currently, intensive workshops are part of the transmission tradition of biotensegrity, since hands-on access to models is a critical educational piece, as is time for discussion, incubation and processing and open inquiry. In the past, for example,
Graham Scarr, the author of Biotensegrity: The Structural Basis of Life (Handspring Publishers, 2014) and Daniele-Claude Martin, who has made instructional videos about biotensegrity models and whose upcoming book, Living Biotensegrity—Interplay of Tension and Compression in the Body is soon to be published by Kiener Press of Munich, have taken part in this kind of exchange with Dr. Levin. A mentorship workshop is scheduled in September, 2015, for 3 mentees.

The Archive plans to formalize week-long intensive mentorship workshops and schedule 3 workshops per year with up to six participants per workshop.

Embryology Course: The Archive is providing staff support for Dr. Levin’s development of an online Biotensegrity in Embryology graduate level accredited course, to be offered through Wayne State University beginning January, 2016.

The Archive is looking into creating a webinar series wherein Dr. Levin can be co-interviewed with other experts in the field of biotensegrity and related fields.

The Archive plans to seed support for future research, designed to attract additional private and governmental funding, at institutions of higher education.

4) Building Community

The Archive is helping to build community in the emerging scientific field of biotensegrity by supporting gatherings of learners, teachers and professionals who apply or seek to apply biotensegrity theory in their work. BIG gatherings are community-organized events which bring people endeavoring to better understand biotensegrity and apply it in their work together in small groups to share their ideas and applications.

The Archive is currently engaged in organizing the seventh annual meeting of the international Biotensegrity Interest Group, BIG VII, to be held Sept 15 & 16 2015 in Washington, DC.

The Archive is in the process of supporting the planning and organizing BIG VIII, in addition to the establishment of a BIG Americas group. Creation of other regional BIGs will be explored during the 2015 international BIG VII gathering.

The Archive will continue to expand on this idea, creating additional formal and informal gatherings, networking activities, and select meetings.

The Archive will host online forums so that scientists, researchers and wellness professionals all over the world can come together to share and generate ideas, and to receive informed feedback about their work.

5) Raising Awareness

Immediately following the 2015 BIG meeting, the Archive is organizing and sponsoring a pre-conference day on September 17, 2015, the
1st Biotensegrity Summit, in connection with the 4th International Fascia Research Congress (IFRC). The pre-conference day is being held at the same venue as the IFRC IV and is intended to present authentic biotensegrity theory to the fascia research community.

The Archive monitors social media, specifically Twitter and Facebook, and will expand soon to LinkedIn.

Currently volunteers are working to establish the Archive, supported and informed by a paid legal team. An Executive Officer will be appointed and paid as funding permits. The Executive will work with the Board of Directors to establish and meet goals and objectives, manage the activities described above, coordinate volunteers (and, as funds permit, additional staff), and assist in fundraising.

Dr. Levin’s DVD will be sold through the Archive as a way of providing an income source. Other items, such as models and tangible educational items that illustrate principles of biotensegrity, and other publications and items may also be sold to support educational and promotional objectives and to raise funds.

Archive launch celebrations and fundraising events are planned in September, 2015 with members of the international BIG community, Advisory Board members, and members of the
Fascia Research Society, publishers in the field, representatives from the British Fascia Symposium, and clinicians and researchers in fields related to and applying biotensegrity.

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