With the construction industry in a perpetual slump, it’s increasingly common to see brand-name architects venturing into product design. Zaha Hadid, along with Bjarke Ingels and Frank Gehry, has led the charge, designing everything from shoes to perfume bottles. This week, the Iraqi-born, London-based architect unveiled her latest venture: a pop-up hair salon at London Design Week.
The salon, which was open to the public by appointment, doled out parametric coifs for five days in collaboration with British haircare brand Fudge ("the hair brand for the bold of heart"). Built into a corner of Hadid’s 5,000-square-foot showroom, the space was actually fairly simple, consisting of an array of salon stations in a white-walled space with a jagged black supergraphic pattern applied to the floor. The chairs face a massive foam sculpture of distorted white anemones, reaching out across the space in frozen motion.
It’s become trendy to dismiss Hadid’s work as excessive, or baroque. But such criticisms are silly (not to mention vaguely sexist) when it comes to the service industry, which is focused squarely on providing luxury and joy. During the salon’s five-day run, clients could stock up on Hadid-designed necessities or hang out on amorphous sculptures. The whole installation seems like a wonderful bit of escapism—life, by Zaha, if the economic downturn had never happened.
Despite the salon’s brief lifespan, social media has preserved some of the looks for posterity. Thanks to what is perhaps the most hilarious hashtag ever, #ZahaFudge, it’s easy to check out a few resulting haircuts on Twitter. Pretty cool, no?