The latest trend is not limited to designing objects with unique lines, but to do so starting from profound concepts such as sustainability, recycling, and social responsibility.
In this way Azusa Murakami and Alexander Groves, from Studio Swine (Super Wide Interdisciplinary New Explorers), from their research into the Chinese human hair industry, have created a range of objects, glasses, accessories and combs for hair (and made of hair), whose success has received recognitions and awards (Swarovski Designers of the Future Award and Wallpaper* Design Awards, both in 2015). Human hair dipped in a transparent resin that solidifies around the locks, creating a composite, semitransparent, and biodegradable material. These products’ irresistibility comes from their unique and snazzy design, which allows you to see what they’re made of, transforming them into works of art.
‘We are interested in the idea of design being the agent of transformation,’ explains Murakami. ‘It’s more interesting to take undesirable object and turn it into something desirable – the moment the perception flips, the attraction becomes more powerful.’
The project is also a documentary on the ancient silk road, Hair Highway, which has always put east and west in communication for technologies, discoveries, and ideas. The hair industry in the province of Shandong is booming, and the two designers filmed and documented the material’s route, from the women who sell their hair, to the traders, to the markets and factories for the treatment of hair.