BY: Rania Chamsine

Lashes to Ashes: Exploring the Hidden Dimensions of Human Hair


Hair is power, beauty and seduction: a reflection of ethnicity and religion, and even a canvas for self-expression. A key feature in defining identity and social status, it holds the essence of our individuality. However, once removed from its original and natural setting—the epidermis—hair is seen as waste, and often evokes disgust.

The objective of this thesis is to explore human hair, which particularly in the Arabic-Islamic region, carries great significance and raises many religious, cultural, and gender issues. Through design, and informed by critical design theory, I explore how this corporeal material can be reused and re-presented as a means of interrogating the references, symbolism, and connotations of hair both in, and out of, its natural setting.

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