studio swine combines tresses + resin to pave hair highway of objects
 
studio swine combines tresses + resin to pave hair highway of objects
jul 01, 2014

studio swine combines tresses + resin to pave hair highway of objects

studio swine combines tresses + resin to pave hair highway of objects
all images courtesy of studio swine

 

 

 

as the abundance of our natural resources is slowly declining, studio swine (azusa murakami and alexander groves) responds by working with a less conventional medium of choice to realize their designs – luscious locks. in the midst of our world’s growing population, human hair is one raw material that continues to increase. the asian variety is said to regenerate the fastest, growing 16 times more rapidly than that of sought after tropical hardwoods; and is also incredibly strong, with a single strand taking up to 100 grams.

sstudio swine hair highway designboom udio-swine-hair-highway-designboom-02
‘hair highway’ vase

 

 

 

interestingly enough, china is the largest importer of tropical hardwood, as well as being the biggest exporter of human hair. working together with pearl lam galleries, murakami and groves travelled to shanghai to complete a five month residency in which they investigated the global hair industry there. as part of their creative research and development, the london-based duo ventured to the country’s shandong province to visit the largest hair market in the world, and gather their raw materials to create a series of decorative objects.

studio swine hair highway designboom
strands of hair are combined with resin to create a sustainable alternative medium

 

 

 

‘hair highway’ stands as a contemporary interpretation of the ancient silk road, which not only transported the lustrous fiber for which it is named after, but technologies, aesthetics and ideas between the east and the west as well. the collection of vessels and small products are molded from combining hair with natural resin to create a composite matter that stands as a sustainable alternative to our diminishing natural resources. though the thought of using the strands to render usable goods seems to be a bit grotesque, the resulting aesthetic is one that expresses color and texture palettes that resemble tortoiseshell, polished horn, and even exotic hardwoods. in its conclusion, ‘hair highway’ is a unique series of pieces that is influenced by the shanghai deco style of the 1930s, rendering geometric forms from the organic substance.

studio swine hair highway designboom
the collection of vessels and small objects reflect the shanghai deco style of the 1930s

 

 

 

presented at design miami/basel 2014, studio swine’s ‘hair highway’ reflects on china’s relationship with the rest of the world, while exploring the idea that trade has the ability to not only transport products, but also values and perceptions.

studio swine hair highway designboom
the dark tresses mixed with the warm tones of natural resin express an aesthetic similar to that of polished horn…

 

studio swine hair highway designboom
various colored resins mixed with hair create the look of tortoiseshell

 

studio swine hair highway designboom
combs made from hair

 

studio swine hair highway designboom
different motifs are rendered from the unconventional material

 

studio swine hair highway designboom
graphic patterning formed by dark tresses

 

studio swine hair highway designboom
detail of the hair and resin composite

 

studio swine hair highway designboom

 

studio swine hair highway designboom

 

studio swine hair highway designboom

 

studio swine hair highway designboom
large ‘hair highway’ mirror

 

studio swine hair highway designboom
detail

 

studio swine hair highway designboom

 

 


the story of ‘hair highway’ and a look at the world’s largest hair market
video courtesy of studio swine

 

 

 

studio swine has sent designboom exclusive images that capture their time in china, documenting their visit to the shandong hair market and development of their ‘hair highway’ series.  click through the gallery below to see more:

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