Working with a talented team from Streka Institute for Media, Architecture & Design, and consulting one of Russia's largest, privately-owned investment and industrial companies, I had a simple idea...
To develop investment in the local economy, and start to transform its retail offer, I thought that an effective, first 'play' might be to broadcast to the town, and wider investment community, the pleasure which local people take in certain categories of life.
Being practical: create a series of public events which enable people to indulge in the pleasure of hair, beauty and fashion and smoke out the town's silent army of bedroom beauticians and their white label chignons :) - then photograph it all, for future printing at a super-large, urban billboard scale.
Last month, Alla and Yaroslav Antoshchenko-Olenev from Delaruk, a creative company based in Saint Petersburg, developed the idea and turned it into their brilliant own, by running a first event in Tikhvin under the banner of Design Reforma - not sure how this translates, but my first thought became something like Summer House of Beauty.
Here is a small sample of a larger set of images taken at the event - and big congratulations to Delaruk!
But Caitria O'Neill, founder of social software start-up Recovers.org, is a truer sister-in-arms, when she wrote in a recent post at Code for America: "We don’t call it “social innovation” or “civic activism.” We call it “getting shit done,” and we do it every day." :)
Authorship of images not sourced, but courtesy of Alla and Yaroslav Antoshchenko-Olenev & Design Reforma/Delaruk. And big thanks also to globe-trotting hair stylist Peter Gray who showed me, years ago, the astonishing creativity of hairdressing.