New Circadia Symposium

0:05:57 Introduction by Dean Richard Sommer
0:13:45 Presentation by Matthew Wolf-Meyer
0:33:44 Presentation by Matthew Spellberg
1:09:04 Discussion

Featuring keynote presentations from anthropologist Matthew Wolf-Meyer and scholar Matthew Spellberg, the New Circadia Symposium will explore the architectural implications of sleep science and culture, and the role of dreams, boredom, distraction, and utopias in shaping the spaces we imagine and make. The symposium will serve to position the forthcoming exhibition, New Circadia, to open in October 2019 as the first installation in the Daniels Faculty’s new Architecture and Design Gallery.

A play on the architecture of circadian rhythms, the New Circadia exhibition will create a cave-like retreat and experimental stage. To descend into a cave is to return to a lithic past, one that evokes the multiple narratives of hidden underworlds. Affiliated with ancient times, with the seat of oracles, magic, and curative powers, the cave also has a range of cultural as well as historical associations — as a place of sanctuary, seclusion, and ritual. The complement of the cave is the ancient Greek idea of Arcadia — the real but more often imagined setting associated with a pastoral paradise. Thus, New Circadia will offer a hybrid of sorts: a paradisiacal retreat in the pursuit of circadian reverie.

For more information about the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto, visit us at


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