barbershop III

My project is about redesigning the workstation in a barbershop/ hair salon. I’m in a group of three, and we all did some research pver the past few days.

We tried to go visit all of these places Monday, but apparently most all of the “hair cutting establishments” are closed Mondays.

So, we trekked back and looked around the Aveda Institute, Great Clips, and the Hair Cuttery in the Student Center (I think they renamed it). We even found some friends of friends who are in the hair industry, and talked to them.

We sketched, interviewed, took notes, and took pictures. It was all very informative. One of the most interesting things that we found was that cutting hair for a living is extremely detrimental to the body. after standing up for so long everyday, with your arms up and your head down causes many long-term problems.

Problem areas that were identified by professionals include:

  • Pains and aches (shoulders, hips, neck, back)
  • Arthritis (hands, hips)
  • Spine deformation
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Bursitis
  • Cysts on soles of feet
  • negative effects on the circulatory system

Wow. Those are some pretty serious problems! and really, the only existing solution for any of these problems is a cushioned rubber mat that the barber can stand. There has to be more opportunity here.There has to be comparable professions with similar problems that have already been solved. Maybe it’s possible to apply those solutions.

Aside from creating all of these problems, people with disabilities would have a hard, or impossible, time cutting hair for a living. Visual impairment would be the most obvious obstacle to cutting hair. Impaired movement is the next most obvious. If you can’t raise your arms  to cut hair on top of someone’s head… well that is bad in the current system. Stamina, as we found out , is a big deal; standing up all day can get pretty tiresome. In addition, any diminishings in fine motor skills would be a huge problem when cutting hair.

That’s a lot of problems in the current system. And I haven’t leven touched mental impairment….

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Some other concerns about hair cutting workstations:

  • cleanliness
  • comfort
  • tidiness
  • speed
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