"My Hair is at MoMA PS1" is exactly what it sounds like. TempAgency, composed of architecture firms Kutonotuk and mcdowellespinosa have designed an installation that uses human hair from hair salons and barbershops as architecture. The finalist for 2013 MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program has found inspiration in the material waste to develop a project of cultural and design significance. Join us after the break for more images.
According to TempAgency, "our hair is an element that links us, divides us, fascinates us, and traces our diversity as a process and relic of life and reflection of ourselves", which makes the installation a project that is about everyone. With up to 4 cubic feet of hair waste produced daily by each NYC hair salon and barbershop, TempAgency has found the potential to develop the thermal, acoustic and structural qualities of architecture with the same material that is such a significant cultural element of character and identity. The project was developed in collaboration with material scientists, hair stylists, medical doctors and engineers to produce "spatial typologies of this living material".
The curating and manufacturing processes come in four phases: hair collection, treatment, assembly and installation. TempAgency collected 80 cubic feet of hair from over 120 hair salons and barbershops. The hair was inspected, sanitized, dyed and bound in a customized weather-proof, fire-retardant silicone and affixed to a metal mesh on fiberglass poles. The variation of curation in these elements can be composed to create different environments for shade and seating. Each "hair roller" represents one of the 120 shops that donated hair, creating a taxonomy across the five boroughs. The landscape produced is a symbolic of cultural identity and a intimate reappropriation of our bodies in architecture. "My Hair is at MoMA PS1 ... is "ultimately an architectural expression of renewed life".
TempAgency was not the only firm to develop a project out of reused materials. 2013 PS1 YAP Winner "Skateboard Scrap Party Wall" by CODA used leftover shreds of skateboard material to develop a porous wall installation for PS1's courtyard. 2013 YAP Istanbul Modern selected SO? Architecture and Ideas’ Sky Spotting Stop as its winner, while Rome's Young Architects Program at MAXXI chose bam!'s He as its winner.