The ‘Beauty Factory’ is a new architectural typology materialised from issues concerning beauty standards within Black communities. Upon research and analysis, many women of colour experience exclusion within the built environment because of western beauty standards; ranging from easy access to products and services, to being turned away at nightclub entrances.
Thus, to address these issues; Black Ballad, a thriving lifestyle platform which aims to celebrate Black women all around the UK, has rallied Habia and Be real campaign; who respectively set standards for beauty practices within the industry, and aim to promote body positivity. All three organisations have collaborated to create a typology which aims to promote awareness on black beauty and issues related to beauty standards, while simultaneously celebrating the practice of beauty. Moreover, as the proposition is based in Manchester, fashion retailer Pretty Little Things have taken a big interest, as the building will be of great benefit to their social media influencer market.
The Beauty Factory provides a unique social atmosphere for women of colour to practice their craft, as well as collaborate with others. The building caters for all beauty needs; ranging from beautician spaces within an adaptable grid, ground floor shopping, the ability to ‘get ready’, photography locations for social media content, and a nightclub exhibiting digital art surrounding beauty standards themes. The proposal is strategically situated in Moss Side to cater primarily towards Black women in hopes to promote a sense of empowerment.
The incorporation of a polycarbonate facade and internal pods encourage the visual interaction of all these programmes at all times of the day and night; to stimulate awareness and celebrate black beauty. Additionally, as the process of a woman getting ‘dolled up’ is on a form of display, this can promote more realistic beauty ideals, with hopes to debunk and challenge present-day beauty standards.