SCÈNES DE NUIT investigates the role of night in the construction of contemporary cities and societies, questioning whether architectural theory and media are still associated with sunlight and diurnal paradigms. From the dominance of daytime photography in publications to the absence of dedicated nocturnal biennials, architectural media has, albeit with a few exceptions, uncritically inherited the pre-modern diurnal episteme that preceded the invention of artificial light in the 19th century. Ultimately, is architectural representation diurnal by default?

Scènes de Nuit aims to examine and problematize the absence of night in architectural representation, discourse, and agency by addressing the technologies, networks, and forms of design deployed in nocturnal spaces and their associated communities. The project engages with both local and global audiences through a broad network of practitioners and theoreticians in architectural design, as well as experts from different fields, such as sociology, arts, philosophy, and media studies, which are relevant for understanding the intersections between space, night, and society at large.

Scènes de Nuit presents nocturnal encounters that foster reflection upon the spaces, activities, and rituals found in night culture, using evening events, ephemeral scenography, and publications as its main display platform. Research is conducted in various formats, temporalities, and dimensions, focusing on night space-types through, but not limited to, nocturnal exhibitions, lectures, workshops, performances, parties, and screenings. The project suggests that there is no distinction between format and content, nor between the production of nocturnal knowledge and the fabrication of night.

After Sunset, Before Sunrise. Workshop at HEAD – Genève, 2021

Project funded by the strategic fund of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Western Switzerland (Fond Stratégique de la HES-SO) and by HEAD – Genève (Geneva University of Art and Design, HES-SO). Website design and code by Juan Gomez (Alumni MA Media Design, HEAD – Genève, PhD candidate HEAD + EPFL). Project led by Dr Javier Fernández Contreras (Head of the Department of Space Design / Interior Architecture, HEAD – Genève).