Javier Fernández Contreras (Dipl. Arch. ETSAM, 2006; Ph.D., 2013) is a Geneva-based architect and architectural theorist, and the head of the Department of Space Design / Interior Architecture at HEAD – Genève. His work explores the relationship between architecture, representation, and media, with a specific focus on the role of interiors in the construction of contemporaneity. Contreras is the director of several BA, MA, and research programs, including MAIA (Master of Arts in Interior Architecture) and Scènes de Nuit, a research platform that investigates the entanglements between night and architecture.

Screens Within Screens

This essay examines Twitch's influence on contemporary interior spaces, delving into the interplay between architecture, online interaction, and digital empathy. From its origins as Justin.tv in 2007 to its rise as a dominant platform in gameplay streaming since 2011, Twitch mirrors 20th and 21st-century TV programs in which audiences watch individuals react to audio-visual content. The research highlights the emergence of a novel, seemingly domestic landscape: the "non-circadian interior," where broadcasts within screens neither depict time nor reveal windows or daylight. By analyzing the practices of leading Twitch streamers such as xQc, Ninja, or Pokimane, the essay reveals how live broadcasts and archival content blend with architectural materials whose chromatics, reflections, and tectonics operate within the digital topos of the screen.

Category: Essay. English
Author/s: Javier F. Contreras
ISSN: 2813 – 8058
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© Twitch Analytics: Charlene Claveria, Lisa Divorne, and Noémie Castella

Burning Farm. December 22, 2023

Toilet, Bathrooom, Restroom

This book presents a series of scientific and design interventions that reflect on the evolution of toilets, both public and private, and their various functions today, including their roles as transgressive, informal meeting places and spaces of coexistence. The texts, primarily written for the 2018 symposium, Intimacy Exposed: Toilet, Bathroom, Restroom (organized by the Department of Interior Architecture at HEAD – Genève), investigate the diverse range of uses to which “wet rooms” can be put in social life. They delve into the recent past of modernist technologies and examine the new entanglements among bodies, objects, and media within contemporary sanitation spaces.

Contributions by: Alexandra Midal, Philippe Rahm, Michael Jakob, Catherine Ince, Mariana Siracusa, Joel Sanders, Andrés G. Pruñonosa, Josiane Imhasly, Jérôme Nager, Renaud Haerlingen (Rotor), Eva Gil (elii), and Bêka & Lemoine.

Category: Book. English
Editor/s: Javier F. Contreras, Roberto Zancan
Collection: COLUMN (1)
ISBN: 978-3-95905-583-3
Introduction. Download PDF (English)
(Leipzig: Spector Books, 2023)


No other building better represents the dissociation between the facade as decor and the interior as domestic pragmatism than Villa Cuadrada. Originally constructed in 1904, its exterior resembles that of an Italian palazzo with symmetric proportions, while its interior is an accumulation of rooms whose disorderly plan does not correspond to any classical structure. The renovation project for the building recovers spatial schemes from the Renaissance that explore pre-modern domesticity: sets of connected rooms, axial symmetries, absence of corridors, and multiple trajectories construct spaces connected in various forms of privacy and collectivity. Ultimately, if architecture has largely reassessed the iconography of the elevation since postmodernism, the project proposes the interplay of classic domestic schemes and modern plans as one of the most unexplored issues in recent architectural history.

Category: Project. Built
Architect/s: Javier F. Contreras, Ignacio Hornillos, Manuel Torrejón
© Federico Cairoli
Madrid, 2021-2023

Space, Matter, and Media from the 1970s to the Second Digital Turn

This essay investigates architecture's shift from construction to media over the last 50 years. At stake is the questioning of architecture's dependence on its traditional cumulative mediums, such as physical matter since its inception, Euclidean geometry in the classical era, printed plans and scale models since the Renaissance, photographic and multimedia imagery since modernity, and 3D and data modeling in recent decades. If the 1970s and 1980s were defined by the transition to the post-medium era with the simultaneous emergence of digital tools, architecture museums, and biennials, the 2000s and 2010s have been marked by the rise of post-occupancy in the second digital turn.

Category: Essay. English, French
Author/s: Javier F. Contreras
ISBN: 979-12-80579-45-4
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Andrea Bellini (Ed.). Chrysalis. The Butterfly Dream (Geneva: Centre d'Art Contemporain / Milan: Lenz Press, 2023): 130-137