Backstage

  • Hugh Hayden
  • Focaccia Mademoiselle Chair: flour, water, yeast, olive oil, salt, sun-dried tomatoes, rosemary and pine
  • Andy Roddick and Andy Murray with Hayden's HEX Chair
  • An installation at the Hayden-Harnett Nolita boutique in honor of the US Open 2009.
  • The Hayden-Harnett challenge: to create an installation relevant to Hugh's current work, Hayden-Harnett's handbags and the general public's interest in the US Open.
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Hugh Hayden

A Brooklyn-based architect and designer, Hugh Hayden has seen his work featured everywhere from W to Teen Vogue to an endless array of niche tennis and design publications. He’s designed window displays for contemporary Manhattan boutiques, has had a booth at Brooklyn Design, and has showcased his creations at furniture-snob mecca The Future Perfect.

So what’s all the hype about? FUNature: an environmental-conscious and playful approach to furniture design that Hayden says he conceived “following a nostalgic experience in a room filled with children's balls that was fun and ergonomic, yet uncontrollable and messy.” We caught up with Hugh to find out how he would design a hair salon, how to generate PR buzz with little to no capital and more.


How would you describe your aesthetic?


Reasoned/functioning design that can take on any appearance, given the project.

In college, you earned a $20,000 fellowship to travel and explore the relationship between food and architecture. Any cool objects you’ve collected in your travels from Japan, France, etc.?


I ate all of them.

What do you think salon owners should consider when they are picking-out furniture for their space?

Comfort and design.

If you were to open your own salon, what would it look like?


A comfortable gallery-like space…a salon should be producing art…right?

There is a very contextually well done salon near my apartment that epitomizes the area in its nondescript out-of-the-way-ness and its ‘50s-modern design approach. It captures the essence of Williamsburg, which by nature is a community-oriented neighborhood.

With a background in architecture, what led you into furniture design?


Architecture tends to be such an old-boys club, where the majority of your career is spent working for someone else, maybe coming into your own by the time you’re in your 60s…or 40s, if you’re lucky.

I ventured into furniture in an attempt to jumpstart my career, as its scale is much more accessible. Still, I’m able to apply certain attitudes about design into my work.

With no budget for marketing or PR, you’ve generated a lot of buzz. Any tips for salon owners on getting coverage?


My advice: Create a product that is relevant and interesting to other people… and also collaborate with other companies with mutual interests.

What products do you use on your hair? Any you couldn’t live without?


I don’t take the best care of my hair. I have micro locks, so the most important thing is this little patented tool I use to “crochet” my hair.

What’s your favorite New York restaurant? Why?


Momofuku Milk Bar - pork belly and cookies.

Favorite design shop?


Moss.

What does your apartment look like?


A mess.

- SHARON FEIEREISEN
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