A three-metre hair installation, made from hair cuttings, was revealed by the Green Salon Collective as a part of this year’s London Design Festival.
The structure – a collaboration between GSC and Pareid Architecture – shines a spotlight on hair waste, questioning whether cut and discarded human hair can be intercepted from the waste stream and reutilised and integrated into the built environment. Designed to confront the public with the future of materials and where we source them, the imposing installation is the latest GSC creation to showcase the versatility of hairdressing industry waste and features a pair of columns clad in felted human hair cuttings.
Located in the central window bay of Gina Conway’s Salon & Spa in Notting Hill, the installation was launched on 12 September, with a party following on 13 September to celebrate the creation. The structure is estimated to be crafted from just 2-3 days’ worth of hair waste from a similarly-sized salon and following the festival, the installation will now be split into four smaller columns and displayed at various locations and museums around the UK.
Officially named Chiaroscuro 1, Green Salon Collective’s installation was just one feature of the world-famous London Design Festival, which this year celebrated its 20th anniversary and ran from 17-25 September 2022.
Speaking at the launch, Stephanie Hodgson from Green Salon Collective said: “Embracing a circular economy means more than just rethinking waste. It means being open to the future of materials and where we source them. When we do that, we can find new opportunities and new partnerships and this installation and collaboration is a great example of that.”
Hadin Charbel and Deborah Lopez from Pareid Architecture are the brains behind the installation. Hadin said: “Moving towards a circular economy has a lot to do with how we evaluate ‘waste’ and the first challenge of that has to do with our perceptions, aesthetics and engagement of that. This object is a reflection of those themes.” Deborah went on to explain that the structure is inspired by the long-held notion of beauty as something perfect, symmetrical, and pure, but how that need for perfection has led to over-consumption, excess and consequently waste. The installation questions whether we can put this waste to good use, creating new possibilities for materials we typically regard as unwanted.
Speaking of discarded hair, find out how it’s being used to grow salad here.