You can never underestimate the importance of playing. Fun, love and inspiration; what else do we live for? We have designed our products with these emotions front and centre of everything we do. The products are fun, and you share them with those you love, in places that inspire. As a father, nothing gives me more pleasure than making things that invoke hours of laughter and creative play from my kids and those of my friends and wider family. 

From an early age I could see that building stuff in trees seemed like a really fun job to have (if that was a job at all), but it wasn’t until I saw the Star Wars Ewok Village, that my imagination really went wild with the possibilities. This was around the same time that I became aware of the destruction of the Amazon Rainforest. And so, at the tender age of six, something clicked; if we’re all hanging out in trees, they can’t chop them down. 

20 something years later and after qualifying and practicing as an Architect, Tentsile was born out of my passion for saving trees. By making trees fun to play in, both for children and adults. My ambition was to create spaces that help develop a love and appreciation of these natural giants. With the help of close friends and family, we’ve created a small company that provides pop-up fun straight out of the bag - a treehouse that anyone can take anywhere! 

Drawing upon my experience as an architect, these floating structures have been designed, developed and tested using the principles of tensegrity, an architectural style developed by Buckminster Fuller, back in the 1920’s and 30’s. Essentially, it’s a structural system that uses tension instead of compression, allowing useful space to be made using a fraction of the materials. Hence the name Tentsile. Tensile structures are lightweight, strong and durable, and create alluring spaces for people to hang out in. You just have to look at the Millennium Dome, Golden Gate bridge or Denver Airport, to see tensile architectures in action. 

As a father, safety is of course, paramount. So, when designing any tree tent or hammock, this is my number one priority. Afterall, our tents hold adults, children, families, suspended in the air. They are intensely structural, and we don’t cut any corners when it comes to safety. Everything we design and make is load tested, rated and includes multiple safety factors – just like any climbing gear, our products have been precision engineered. 

As a father and architect, I wanted to create a modular system of inter-connectable products that can be built up over time to make usable, fun, comfortable, weatherproof spaces between trees. Over the last nine years, we have achieved this by developing new products which can be used together, or on their own. Alongside a focus on creating fun products, we have also been focussing on the sustainability of our business. 

The destruction of the Amazon rainforest (“the lungs of our earth”), still continues today, and now as a father, I worry about the future of our planet and what it holds for our future generations. And today, just like it was when I set out on this journey creating Tentsile, sustainability is still at the heart of everything we do. No end-of-life product ends up in landfill, the planting of trees, the supporting of environmental conservation projects, the pursuit of carbon neutrality. We strive to be a company that stands by its principles; one you can stand behind and proudly be a part of. 

From one parent to another, please put the screens down and join us in the trees, have fun, get outside, spend time with those you love and remember that every small step we can take together to walk more lightly on this earth of ours, is a step in the right direction. 

Join the Tentsile Community on Facebook and become part of the family! 



Tentsile Range

Alex Shirley-Smith