Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts



First Advisor

Thomas Modeen


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.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

June 2013