Established Black Techniques

In order to craft this architectural language, I wanted to find established black techniques that are used for aesthetic purposes. Hair immediately came to mind. Since the beginning of African civilizations, hairstyles were a method used to convey messages to greater society. “ The hair is the most elevated part of the body and was therefore considered a portal for spirits to pass through to the soul. Because of the cultural and spiritual importance of hair for Africans, the practice of having their heads involuntarily shaved before being sold as slaves was in itself a dehumanizing act.”(Hair Story, Byrd,Ayana D.)

Hair has remained an important way to express cultural identity for black americans. I used shapes found in 2 of the most common hair styles among black people, waves and box braids. I superimposed both shapes onto eachother, and created an architectural skin that will be the focal point of the house. The gold accents are adinkra symbols from west Africa.