Two designers have created a collection of furniture using human hair.
Azusa Murakami and Alexander Groves of Studio Swine have created a furniture and homewares collection by combining the human hair sold to Chinese markets with a natural resin.
Human hair is combined with a natural resin to create the designs. The project, entitled Hair Highway, has been documented in a short video showing the sourcing and building of the product. The designers go to the Shandong province of China, where hair is sold to merchants and then moved to a factory for production. Hair Highway also echoes the ancient history of the Silk Road, where trade and cultural interaction took place between the east and west of Asia.
Aesthetically Pleasing & Biodegradable
Hair Highway leans on a 2011 experiment where the designers created a collection of spectacles through a similar process. Studio Swine is renowned for its research in “material innovation and creating new sustainable systems” and the result is surprisingly very aesthetically appealing.
The idea came about in a bid to investigate an alternative to wood, as China is one of the world’s largest importers of tropical hardwood and the largest exporter of human hair.
The video shows the hair collected, bound and dyed before being shipped off to a factory environment. Here it is layered flat and a natural red resin is poured over it to bind it. Once dry, it is then cut and glued into place. This organic process ensures each furniture piece is completely biodegradable.
The designs offer a tortoise shell-like pattern and can resemble exotic, rich-coloured hardwood. The collection is inspired by 1930s Shanghai deco design.
So the next time you’re at your local hair salon, perhaps pack an extra bag to collect the locks on the floor to upcycle into a brush or comb and see how waste becomes resourceful!