User Experience Researcher & Designer

Hair I Grow

ArtCenter Transdisciplinary Studio
14 Weeks
Research, Installation, Performance

Project Brief:

Chronolentus - Through the lens of time. We live in a world where our daily lives depend on devices that connect, communicate and capture static or moving moments with a press of a button.point, shoot and share on many social platforms that's afforded to us. Inspired by the work of kinetic sculpture artist Ray Chang. Join us as we explore the analog, mechanical world of this unique art-form. Unlock the narrative behind the journey in the making with the potential of providing a unique viewpoint through the POV from the objectivity of your creation.

Positioning Statement:

Our hair can be considered sacred and significant to who we are as an individual. Our hair also symbolizes physical strength and virility; the virtues and properties of a person are said to be concentrated in hair and nails. It can be a symbol of instinct, of female seduction and physical attraction. Hair flowing depicts freedom and looseness.

For me, in the past, changing or altering my hair drastically was not only a way to express myself, but often only occurred after something happened in my life. Something as simple as a haircut can feel like a fresh start and a way to get rid of baggage I've been carrying around. It's a way to regain some control when everything else seems to be outside of my ability to control. This is why many other people cut their hair after a drastic change in their life.   

When someone says the word “r*pe,” or discusses the idea of SA, one rarely thinks to associate the traumatic incident with the concept of grief. When survivors consider their pain and the trauma they have experienced, the idea of going through the stages of grief may never cross their mind.

Grief & Mourning:

To many, grief is something that we experience when we lose a loved one, something that we suffer when a death occurs. When many picture grief, they picture the widow dressed all in black, or the family crying over the loss of a treasured grandparent. It isn’t often that we widen our own associations to include loss as a whole.

An individual who has experienced SA may be mourning their own loss- this can mean the loss of their identity, the loss of the ‘normality’ their life held before the assault, or even, in cases when victims know their abuser, the loss of their abuser as a person they once had in their life.


Washing hair
Often the beginning of the journey of getting ready. Washing hair after a busy week is refreshing and feeling clean is nice, especially when getting ready to go somewhere

Brushing hair
Detangling hair when wet can be a struggle for all, especially for those with so much or with length. We all have a method we prefer; sometimes it takes me so long to detangle half my hair that the other half dries, thus showing my 'natural frizz' and overall asymmetry

Straighten hair
By this point, when hair doesn't behave the way one wanted or expected, we immediately try to find a way to fix it and convince ourselves we're okay with it. I typically will not like how my frizzy natural hair looks and will immediately move to iron it
Matted Hair
Often when some struggle with things and become depressed, taking care of ourselves can become the biggest journey yet. An insecurity I share with many others is when I get stuck within a wave of depression, and all of my hair begins to matt.

Botched haircut
Whether its a cultural significance, a movie or book character overcoming something, or simply someone wanting to feel as though they are in control of their lives, cutting hair is a symbolic way to 'let go'.


There will be one large wooden panel set up vertically with two same-sized holes cut out around the center. These holes will be large enough for people to place their arms into comfortably, but not so large that they can see what is happening on the other side.

The user will be wearing headphones while they have their arms through the holes and begin the experience. The experience overall will be split into 5 segments, each with their own sound. Each sound will be two abstract sounds (left and right) overlapping.


Sounds 01/02
Left: squelching hair
Right: girls excitedly speaking

Sounds 03/04
Left: rough hair brushing
Right: angry yells

Sounds 05/06
Left: ironing wet hair
Right: overlapping 'fine'
Sounds 07/08
Left: hair ripping/breaking
Right: guttural crying

Sounds 09/10
Left: scissors
Right: heavy breathing


The user will wait for permission in the sound and begin the touch experience. Each will place their hands through the holes and begin to touch the hair of each style dummy and follow the instructions given to them.

When the user has gone through all five of the experiences, they will be allowed to see what hides on the other side.

Piece Mockup:

Build Process:

Build assistance: Jalyn Tan

Final Documentation: