PET INFLUENCERS
Animal Portraiture, Domesticity & Social Media


The rapid growth of pet ownership in recent decades, characteristic of postmodern societies, raises significant questions about human identity, animal rights, and architecture at large. While other forms of animal confinement, such as the farm, the zoo, or the circus, have been both spatially studied and ethically contested in recent years, critical surveys of domesticity from the perspective of pets are relatively scarce. Even less analyzed is the case of “pet influencers,” that is, domesticated animals whose very existence is mediated and monetized by their owners, mainly on social media platforms. This essay studies the territory of the most followed pet influencers worldwide, specifically the domestic spaces to which their mediated existence is confined, by examining the rooms where they are filmed and analyzing what is both visible and invisible in terms of content, spatiality, circadian rhythms, and animal behavior.

Category: Essay. English
Author/s: Javier F. Contreras
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Data Analytics: BA students in Interior Architecture, HEAD – Genève
KoozArch. May 24, 2024




NOCTURNAL HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE

For centuries, architectural theory has been dominated by solar and diurnal paradigms. References to night in Vitruvius' De Architectura are scarce, as they are in the Renaissance treatises by Alberti or Palladio. However, the night has been, for millennia, a central laboratory in the development of new forms of space. This book offers a first chronological attempt at A Nocturnal History of Architecture, spanning over 2000 years across different geographies and societies. From the elusive darkness of Greek temples to the overlit American suburbia, and from moon-inspired Japanese aesthetics to Italian nightclubs, it reveals how the evolution of human beings and their material environment is inseparable from the night.

Essays by: Sébastien Grosset, Efrosyni Boutsikas, Maria Shevelkina, Murielle Hladik, Maarten Delbeke, Amy Chazkel, Lucía Jalón, Carlotta Darò, Yan Rocher, Alexandra Sumorok, Chase Galis, Cat Rossi, Léa-Catherine Szacka, Hilary Orange, Nick Dunn, Youri Kravtchenko

Category: Book. English
Editor/s: Javier F. Contreras, Vera Sacchetti, Roberto Zancan
Collection: COLUMN (2)
ISBN: 978-3-95905-674-8
Research Platfom: Scènes de Nuit
© HEAD – Genève, Morgan Carlier
(Leipzig: Spector Books, 2024)




Screens Within Screens
T
HE INTERIORS OF TWITCH

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, Spanish
Author/s: Javier F. Contreras
ISSN: 2813 – 8058
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Twitch Analytics: Charlene Claveria, Lisa Divorne, Noémie Castella

Burning Farm. December 22, 2023 / PLOT, No. 72 (February 2024): 164-173





INSTAGRAM, TIPOLOGY AND ARCHITECTURE
The Interiors of Social Media

Analyzing the most followed Instagram accounts worldwide, this essay investigates the role that social media plays in the contemporary redefinition of our material environment and its virtual boundaries. Operating within a framework of production/consumption, Instagram establishes hierarchies based on the success of content, the most valued body types, and the types of architecture presented for public consumption. From the members of the Kardashian-Jenner family to Leo Messi, and from Beyoncé to Cristiano Ronaldo, the most followed accounts predominantly feature heterosexual celebrities, reinforcing norms and stereotypes that are regularly framed within interior spaces. Addressing these interiorities through a typological classification is to recognize that they are producing architecture, and therefore spatial behaviors and norms.

Category: Essay. Spanish
Author/s: Javier F. Contreras, Paule Perron
ISSN: 1853-1997
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PLOT, No. 72 (February 2024): 174-183





INTIMACY EXPOSED
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.

Essays 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), Bêka & Lemoine

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




ARCHITECTURAL METAMORPHOSIS:
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





Enric Miralles and the Hockney Collages
CONVERSATION WITH BENEDETTA TAGLIABUE


In this interview, Benedetta Tagliabue examines the origins of Enric Miralles' interest in the photographic work of David Hockney, as well as the further exploration of photo collage as a design mechanism in the work of Miralles/Tagliabue in the 1990s.

Category: Interview, English
Author/s: Javier F. Contreras, Benedetta Tagliabue
ISSN: 2673-4508
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Superposition, No. 2 - Workout (Autumn 2023): 117-121




MANIFESTO OF INTERIORS
Thinking in the Expanded Media

Manifesto of Interiors explores contemporary architecture as the convergence of physical and mediated spaces, encompassing mass communication and digital platforms. While the Internet has accelerated the overlap of space and media in recent decades, this book traces the roots of this hybridization process back to the Renaissance and addresses interior spaces as a central laboratory in shaping modernity. Considering all forms of representation as inherently architectural—spanning from writing to photography, from drawing to cinema—the manifesto examines contemporary interiors as platforms of “expanded media” that simultaneously belong to different places and temporalities, whether physical or virtual, close or distant. It ultimately delves into recent phenomena, such as the rise of social media and the challenges posed by the Covid crisis, underscoring the pivotal role of interior architecture in defining today’s world.

Category: Book. English, French, Spanish
Author/s: Javier F. Contreras
ISBN: 978-2-940510-45-0
Awards: Selected, XVI BEAU (Bienal Española de Arquitectura y Urbanismo), 2023
English, French editions: Open Access
© Michel Giesbrecht, Guillaume Collignon
(Geneva: HEAD – Publishing, 2021) / (Barcelona: Puente Editores, 2022)




Depuis Rue Las Cases 
A CONVERSATION WITH INDIA MAHDAVI

This long-overdue, eponymous first monograph of India Mahdavi takes readers on a retrospective journey through the most emblematic realizations of the world-renowned Paris-based interior designer, internationally praised for her unique sense of color. Offering an unprecedented perspective on her creative process, an extensive interview with Mahdavi by Javier F. Contreras contributes to making this volume an insightful exploration of the first twenty years of her career. It includes her most celebrated projects, such as The Gallery at Sketch in London, Ladurée in Los Angeles, Tokyo, and Geneva, as well as her more personal, lesser-known works in Iran and Egypt.

Category: Interview. English
Author/s: Javier F. Contreras, India Mahdavi
ISBN: 978-1-7972-0323-2
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© Chronicle Books
India Mahdavi (Los Angeles: Chronicle Books, 2021)




EL CROQUIS NIGHT
Excusus into Nocturnal Obliteration in Architectural Media

Founded in 1982 by Richard Levene and Fernando Marquez, El Croquis is a renowned architectural magazine that rarely features night photography. In February 2020, Richard Levene was invited by HEAD – Genève to create a nocturnal edition of the journal. Under his guidance, students spent a week gathering documentation on, and photographing, contemporary buildings in Geneva from dusk to after nightfall. They subsequently laid out and presented this material in a virtual edition titled El Croquis Night. This reversed the journal's usual circadian rhythm, prompting the question: “Is architectural representation diurnal by default?”

Category: Essay. English, French
Author/s: Javier F. Contreras
Download El Croquis Night
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Research Platfom: Scènes de Nuit
© Michel Giesbrecht
Interiority. Vol. 4, No. 2 (2021): 181-190 / Plan Libre, No. 179 (2020): 12-14





SCÈNES DE NUIT
Night & Architecture

The result of the eponymous 2019 exhibition at f'ar Lausanne, this book explores the spaces, activities, and media influenced by night culture. Its five chapters—SHOP, FILM, CLUB, FOOD, and CITY—take readers on a journey through the nocturnal practices and rituals associated with different space types, including corner shops, cinemas, nightclubs, restaurants, and artificially illuminated urban environments. In doing so, they provide an open-ended framework for investigating the intricate connection between night and architecture.

Contributions by: Sukhdev Sandhu, Martin Kohout, Matthieu Bareyre, Isabelle Corten, Stalker Osservatorio Nomade, Pol Esteve Castelló, Octave Perrault, Daniel Zamarbide, Julien Zanetta, and Collective Domingo

Category: Book. English
Editor/s: Javier F. Contreras, Youri Kravtchenko, Manon Portera
ISBN: 978-84-17905-69-9
Reaserch Platfom: Scènes de Nuit
© Ediciones Asimétricas
(Geneva: HEAD – Publishing; Madrid: Ediciones Asimétricas, 2021)





THE MIRALLES PROJECTION
Thinking and Representation in the Architecture of Enric Miralles


Enric Miralles used to insist that he only designed architecture from ground plans, and it was from plan views that his drawings became intricate cartographies encompassing multiple scales, auxiliary sections, and developed surfaces. The Miralles Projection elucidates both the origin and evolution of Miralles' representation mechanisms, from his time as an architecture student at the Barcelona School of Architecture to his collaboration with Viaplana/Piñón in the 1970s, and from his partnership with Carme Pinós in the 1980s to that with Benedetta Tagliabue in the 1990s. Including previously unpublished drawings and featuring essays and testimonies by former colleagues, collaborators, and partners, this book explains Miralles’ customized use of orthographic projections, connected to a fragment-like conception of the architectural plan and space itself.

Category: Book. English, Spanish
Author/s: Javier F. Contreras
ISBN: 978-1-943532-67-4
PhD Dissertation: 2013
Awards: Finalist, Arquia/Tesis competition, 2015
Spanish Edition: Open Access
(San Francisco: AR+D Publishing, 2020)





Tactile and Reflective Conditions
THE ARCHITECTURE OF MARIE-JOSÉ VAN HEE

This essay traces the evolution of Marie-José Van Hee's architecture, with a specific focus on material and tectonic aspects. While early projects like the Lowie-Derks House indicate a transition from symbolic exteriors to experiential interiors, her mature works, such as the Varkensstraat House and the Market Hall in Ghent, illustrate the simultaneous use of textured solidity and atmospheric reflections to incorporate the patina of time into architectural perception. The essay concludes by exploring Van Hee's pursuit of tactile tectonics and layered transparencies in recent decades. In the Buyl and Declercq houses, traditional notions of perspective and figuration, nature and domesticity, are challenged, providing a sensory experience of the tactile and reflective conditions of architecture.

Category: Essay. English
Author/s: Javier F. Contreras
ISBN: 978-90827-6351-5
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Hilde Peleman, and Katrien Vandermarliere, eds. Marie-José Van Hee Architecten: More Home, More Garden (Ghent: Copyright Slow Publishing, 2019), 217-229



PUBLICATIONS - index
BOOKS

Javier F. Contreras, Vera Sacchetti, and Roberto Zancan, eds. A Nocturnal History of Architecture (Leipzig: Spector Books, 2024)

Javier F. Contreras, and Roberto Zancan, eds. Intimacy Exposed: Toilet, Bathroom, Restroom (Leipzig: Spector Books, 2023) 

Javier F. Contreras. Manifiesto de Interiores (Barcelona: Puente Editores, 2022) 

Javier F. Contreras, Youri Kravtchenko, and Manon Portera, eds. Scènes de Nuit. Night & Architecture (Geneva: HEAD – Publishing / Madrid: Ediciones Asimétricas, 2021) 

Javier F. Contreras. Manifesto of Interiors: Thinking in the Expanded Media (Geneva: HEAD – Publishing, 2021)

Javier F. Contreras. Manifeste d'intérieurs : penser dans les médias élargis (Geneva: HEAD – Publishing, 2021)

Javier F. Contreras. The Miralles Projection: Thinking and Representation in the Architecture of Enric Miralles (San Francisco: Applied Research + Design Publishing, 2020) 

Javier F. Contreras, Youri Kravtchenko, Arjen Oosterman, and Lilet Breddels, eds. Herbarium of Interiors. Insert to Volume No. 57, Bye Default (Amsterdam: Archis-Volume, 2020) 

Javier F. Contreras. Fragmentos de Planta y Espacio. Sistema Diédrico en Enric Miralles (Madrid: Ediciones Asimétricas, 2018) 

ESSAYS

Javier F. Contreras. “Twitch, Espacio y Tiempo. Los interiores de las redes sociales.PLOT, No. 72 (February 2024): 164-173

Javier F. Contreras, and Paule Perron. “Instagram, Tipología y Arquitectura. Los interiores de las redes sociales.” PLOT, No. 72 (February 2024): 174-183

Javier F. Contreras. “Screens Within Screens: The Interiors of Twitch.Burning Farm. December 22, 2023

Javier F. Contreras. “Architectural Metamorphosis: Space, Matter, and Media from the 1970s to the Second Digital Turn.” In Chrysalis. The Butterfly Dream, edited by Andrea Bellini (Geneva: Centre d'Art Contemporain; Milan: Lenz Press, 2023), 130-137

Javier F. Contreras, and Roberto Zancan. “A Nocturnal Epistemology of Architecture: on the Research Project Scènes de Nuit.Materia Arquitectura, No. 24 (August 2023): 44-59

Javier F. Contreras. “Annotation as Review: Graphic Thinking in Enric Miralles’ Ph.D. Thesis.” Architecture and Culture, 10:2 (2022): 272-283

Javier F. Contreras. “El Croquis Night: Excursus into Nocturnal Obliteration in Architectural Media.Interiority, Vol 4, No. 2 (2021): 181-190

Javier F. Contreras. “El Croquis : une édition nocturne.” Plan Libre - Journal de la Maison de l'Architecture Occitanie-Pyrénées, No. 179 (Dec 2020-Jan 2021): 12-14

Javier F. Contreras. “Tactile and Reflective Conditions in the Architecture of Marie-José Van Hee. In Marie-José Van Hee Architecten: More Home, More Garden, edited by Hilde Peleman, and Katrien Vandermarliere (Ghent: Copyright Slow Publishing, 2019), 217-229

Javier F. Contreras. “Différences de Perception: Le Chablais Lémanique.” In Prises de vue. Un paradigme pour l’observation du paysage, edited by Michael Jakob (Geneva: Métis Presses, 2019), 129-146

Javier F. Contreras. “Tactile and Reflective Conditions: Marie-José Van Hee’s House Declercq.” BITACORA Arquitectura, No. 39 (2018): 134-139

Javier F. Contreras. “Dibujo y Repetición: presencia manual de Enric Miralles en la planta del Ayuntamiento de Utrecht.RA Revista de Arquitectura, No. 19 (2017): 97-104

Javier F. Contreras. “Enric Miralles: La Gran Casa.Drawing Matter. July 22, 2017

Javier F. Contreras, and José M. Sánchez García. “Concentration as Program, Emptiness as Flexibility: an Idea of Space.” In Passion for the Built Environment (Perspectives in Metropolitan Research, No. 2), edited by Gesa Ziemer (Berlin: Jovis Verlag, 2016), 98-106

Javier F. Contreras. “La Tectónica de lo Aéreo: Enric Miralles y la Vicisitud de lo Climático” ZARCH: Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Architecture and Urbanism, No. 4 (2015): 22-35

Javier F. Contreras. “Plan Libre vs. Plan Miralles.” In Massilia 2011. Annuaire d’études Corbuséennes, edited by Josep Quetglas (Paris: Fondation Le Corbusier; Marseille: Éditions Imbernon, 2011), 82-91

Javier F. Contreras. “Océanos de Arena, Ciudades del Petróleo.” Revista Arquitectura, No. 361 (Autumn 2010): 88-91

Javier F. Contreras. “El Organicismo Expandido.” CIRCO, No. 153 (2009)

Javier F. Contreras, Gabriel N. Duarte, and Roberto Gª Caballero. “It’s Not Just Grass! Subverting Legal Planning and the Reinvention of the Dutch Process-Landscape Agenda 2000 & the C2751” In 306090 Vol.8, Autonomous Urbanism, edited by Alex Duval, and Kjersti Monson (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2005), 21-30 

INTERVIEWS

Benedetta Tagliabue. “Enric Miralles and the Hockney Collages.” Interview by Javier F. Contreras. Superposition, No. 2 - Workout (Autumn 2023): 117-121

Javier F. Contreras. “Copy-Paste. L’intérieur, du Web 2.0 au Métavers.” Interview by Corine Stübi. Maisons et Ambiances, No. 156 (Spring 2022): 66-72

India Mahdavi. “Depuis Rue Las Cases. A Conversation with India Mahdavi.” Interview by Javier F. Contreras. In India Mahdavi (Los Angeles: Chronicle Books, 2021) 

Javier F. Contreras, and Graeme Brooker. “The Future is Interior and Interiorised.” Interview by Marco Costantini, and Claire Favre Maxwell. RADDAR, No. 2 (2020): 192-213

Irma Boom. “Within Pages, Beyond Books. Interview by Lilet Breddels, and Javier F. Contreras. In Herbarium of Interiors, edited by L. Breddels, J. F. Contreras, Y. Kravtchenko, and A. Oosterman (Amsterdam: Archis-Volume, 2020), 42-47

Javier F. Contreras. “Architecture d’intérieur. Espace et Communication.” Interview by Nic Ulmi. In IN MY HEAD, edited by Julie E. Julliard (Geneva: HEAD – Genève, 2020), 240-243

Jean-Pierre Greff, and Javier F. Contreras. “Dialogue sur l’enseignement de l’architecture d’intérieur.” Interview by Roberto Zancan. In L’architecture par l’intérieur, edited by Roberto Zancan (Geneva: Métis Presses, 2018), 185-205