Each year, MoMA PS1 transforms its courtyard into an exciting installation constructed with recycled materials cast off by the local community. But what if that “community” was comprised of barber shops and hair salons? TempAgency’s entry for the Young Architects Program recycles an unlikely resource: hair. Aptly called “My Hair at PS1,” the installation would put New Yorkers' hair on exhibit as billowy columns that visitors would be invited to comb, wash, tease, and dare we say, canoodle and cozy on and under.
TempAgency’s hair columns appear more like cotton candy than hair — which would not likely be the case should they actually execute the hair towers. Finalists in the YAP competition, the group’s proposal is unique to say the least.
Hair would be collected by TempAgency from New York barbershops and salons, or direct from donors. The bundles would then be brought to their office and prepped into hair columns. The piles would later be dyed with various colors and grouped together. Metal mesh sheets would be rolled up to form the columns that would secure the hair fibers and give them shape, and the furry columns would then be affixed to fiberglass poles that could be set upright or mounted to walls at various angles.
The idea is that guests of the museum and Warm Up would be able to wander around the hair forest, sit on bales of hair as cushions, or explore hair tunnels. Visitors could even add to the installation by getting their hair trimmed at a pop-up salon inside one of the courtyard alcoves.
We don’t know how the public would react to playing amongst clumps of other people’s hair, especially in the dank days of summer, but Tempe Agency’s video makes it look like a grand old time.