Anglo-Japanese designer Studio Swine makes luxurious objects and furniture that sit at the intersection of culture and the future of resources. Their latest project is a collection of extraordinary objects inspired by the 1930s Shanghai-deco style translated into all sorts of objects, including boxes, vases, mirrors, screens and hair combs. But there’s something in particular that makes them stand out. Called Hair Highway, their weirdly enchanting aesthetic can be attributed to the use of resin and human hair!
Studio Swine is co-founded by Japanese architect Azusa Murakami and British artist Alexander Groves. The studio’s name stands for Super Wide Interdisciplinary New Explorers and their latest exploration took the duo from the UK into China. Hair Highway is a contemporary take on the ancient Silk Road, which transported silk, but also technologies, traditions, aesthetics and ideas between the East and the West.
This extraordinary project started by investigating the global hair industry in the Shandong province of China. The creative duo followed the material’s journey from the people who sell their hair through to the hair merchants, markets and factories. The outcome is a stunning collection of hairy objects with a video that features the whole process and trip into the Far East.
Because China is both the largest importer of tropical hardwood and the biggest exporter of human hair, Studio Swine decided to combine the protein filament and the trees’ natural resin. This new composite evokes the aesthetic of tortoiseshell and exotic hardwoods inspired by the 1930s Shanghai-deco style as well as providing a sustainable alternative to the planet’s diminishing natural resources.
See more fantastic designs from this Anglo-Japanese studio here.
Photos courtesy of Studio Swine