A Conversation with

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抯 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抯 all the hype about? FUNature: an environmental-conscious and playful approach to furniture design that Hayden says he conceived 揻ollowing 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抳e 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卆 salon should be producing art卹ight?

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抮e in your 60s卭r 40s, if you抮e lucky.

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

With no budget for marketing or PR, you抳e 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抰 live without?
I don抰 take the best care of my hair. I have micro locks, so the most important thing is this little patented tool I use to 揷rochet my hair.

What抯 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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