In the past few days, we've published the winning projects of the New York, Rome, and Istanbul editions of the 2013 Young Architects Program (YAP). One very fascinating runner-up for New York's MoMA PS1 YAP is MY HAIR IS AT MOMA PS1 by TempAgency, a collaboration between the two individual offices Kutonotuk (Leena Cho, Matthew Jull) and mcdowellespinosa (Rychiee Espinosa, Seth McDowell).
Project Description from the Architects:
“My Hair is at MoMA PS1” is a project about everyone: the waste we produce, our hair. It 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.
There are over 4,000 hair salons and barbershops in the five boroughs of New York City. Each salon produces up to 4ft3 of hair clippings daily, and nearly all of it ends up in a landfill; the material that once signified diversity, character, and collective identity is readily forgotten and discarded. This project aims at diverting hair as a material waste stream and fabricating the cultural and architectural potential imbued with thermal, acoustic, and structural qualities as well as life and growth. Working in collaboration with material scientists, hair stylists, medical doctors and engineers, we revive and transform waste hair into a dynamic, interactive, and resilient modular canvas. “My Hair is at MoMA PS1” is a project about curating this process and manufacturing the power and spatial typologies of this living material.
The process we propose has four phases: hair collection, treatment, assembly and installation. TempAgency partners with over 120 NYC hair salons and barbershops and collects a total amount of 80ft3 of hair for a period of five days. Collected hair is carefully inspected, sanitized, dyed and bound with customized weather-proof, fire-retardant silicone, and is affixed to light and rigid metal mesh, then finally to fiberglass poles. Horizontal and vertical variations of the hair rollers offer six distinct stage-like environments in the MoMA PS1 courtyards: ‘Cut’, ‘Tease’, ‘Brush’, ‘Part’, ‘Wash’, and ‘Love Cave’, and provide a variety of shade, seating, water as well as intense yet flexible spaces for Expo1, Warm-Up, and barbershop for the ultimate cool-down.
With a color-coded tagging system, each hair roller is further a representation of individual salon or barbershop from one of five NYC boroughs, and together act as map of hair taxonomy of the city. The tags guide visitors’ quest to find their own hair and salons/barbershops in the MoMA PS1 courtyards. “My Hair is at MoMA PS1” is a landscape of serendipity, layered with scientific and tactile exploration of material and information, and ultimately an architectural expression of renewed life.
TempAgency is a design/research collaborative between Kutonotuk (Leena Cho, Matthew Jull) and mcdowellespinosa (Rychiee Espinosa, Seth McDowell). TempAgency’s work lies at the intersection of architecture, landscape architecture, urbanism, product design, and an array of interrelated forces that shape the built environment from the scale of the object and body to that of the city and continent. Combining numerous expertise linking materials, politics and science, the collaboration defines a unique and critical vision for the future of sustainability.
TempAgency partners: Leena Cho, Rychiee Espinosa, Matthew Jull, Seth McDowell with Jake Fox, Aaron Gahr, Ben Gregory, Teppei Iizuka, Gwen McGinn, Matthew Pinyan
All images, models, material samples, mock-ups and animation were produced by TempAgency and our students at the University of Virginia School of Architecture, Charlottesville, VA.
Consultants & Acknowledgement
Derrick Roorda, Buro Happold
Tom Bishop, BRB Architects
Transsolar, Climate Engineering
Chris Martin, Quantum Silicones
Adam Malcom, University of Virginia Department of Material Science and Engineering
Steve Warner, University of Virginia Department of Drama
Peter Heymann, M.D., University of Virginia Division of Allergy and Immunology
Steve Jacobs, PennState University Department of Urban Entomology
John Davidson, University of Maryland Department of Urban Entomology
Lisa Gautier, Matter of Trust Ecological Public Charity
Alan Dumpit, Manhattan Mini Storage
Whittemore House Salon
Hiro Haraguchi Hair Salon
Michael Angelo’s Wonderland Beauty Parlor
TempAgency would like to extend our thanks for the amazing support and encouragement from the faculty and students at the University of Virginia School of Architecture: Dean Kim Tanzer, Inaki Alday (Chair, Dept. of Architecture), Nancy Takahashi (Chair, Dept. of Landscape Architecture), Karen Van Lengen, Kirk Martini, Robin Dripps, Lucia Phinney, Teresa Gali-Izard, Melissa Goldman, Dick Smith & Eric Field.