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New Circadia Exhibition

11.05.20 – Richard Sommer publishes a "glossary of dream architecture" in Cabinet magazine

Professor Richard Sommer, who was dean of the Daniels Faculty before the conclusion of his term last summer, has co-authored a story for the latest issue of Cabinet, a Brooklyn-based arts and culture magazine.

The piece, which Sommer wrote in collaboration with Natalie Fizer, of Pillow Culture, is titled Glossary of Dream Architecture. It consists of a series of capsule essays about words and concepts that guided the creation of New Circadia, the immersive, cavelike installation that Sommer and Pillow Culture staged in the Daniels Building's Architecture and Design Gallery in late 2019.

New Circadia consisted of a dimly lit, felt-lined space suffused with soft, calming sound. Visitors were invited to linger, rest, and lose track of time.

Sommer and Fizer write:

The glossary gathers buildings, landscapes, events, films, stories, drawings, and other projects that can also be understood to constitute a makeshift history of dream design. Its contents are organized under the following headings: Air, Bricolage, Cave, Cloister, Glass, Grotto, Model, Mountain Aerie, Phantasmagoria, Stone, Temple, Test Bed, Vehicle, and Water. The history the glossary imputes is provisional to our own purposes and guides our ideas about how architecture models time to shape a space of dreams through the measuring, marking, and bounding of various human practices. The dream-inducing architecture of New Circadia begins with a search for tempos within the various and overlapping versions of time we inhabit. These include, but are not limited to: geological/deep time, mechanical/industrial time, wasted/idling time, broken/discontinuous time, organic/biological time, and mythical/story time.

Read the full glossary on the Cabinet website.

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Top image: Inside New Circadia. Photograph by Bob Gundu.