SCÈNES DE NUIT investigates the role of night in the construction of contemporary cities and societies, illustrating how architectural theory and media are still associated with sunlight and diurnal paradigms. From the dominance of day-time 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 question 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 difference between both format and content, between the production of nocturnal knowledge and the fabrication of night.
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 & 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 (Dean of Space Design, HEAD – Genève).