Geneva, February 2021

The CIRCA DIEM project is developed by HEAD – Genève and EPFL for the Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism 2021. 

The installation raises awareness about the importance of our daily exposure to light and its dynamics in dense urban environments, especially when considering underground life. Circa diem – “about one day” in Latin – is at the origin of what we call our “circadian rhythms” and suggests here a deep and essential link with the natural day-night cycle.

This workshop aims to further develop a conceptual proposal that explores an experiential and didactic approach to draw attention to the health-related and physiological  effects of light on the biological rhythms of the human body in dense urban environments. While the concept proposal has been accepted, assistance from the students of HEAD are sought to explore design options that will have the strongest impact on visitors of the installation.

The goals for the students will be to explore the “elements of consideration.” These are the areas that could most benefit from further thought, time, and consideration. The  design elements to be developed from scratch focus on tactile and didactic exterior engagement with the installation, the entrance/door and spatial movement pattern of the viewer, and the materiality of all installation objects (structure, interior, exterior, etc.).

The Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism 2021 (SBAU) will be the first global architectural event entirely produced following a pandemic that has altered and challenged the foundations of our civilization. Entitled “CROSSROADS Building the resilient”, it intends to gather different forms of intelligence to reflect on the city of the future as a more sustainable, resilient and comfortable place for its inhabitants. The exhibition will take place in the Dongdaemun Design Plaza built by Zaha Hadid in Seoul, South Korea.


Project team:
Javier F. Contreras, HEAD – Genève
Marilyne Andersen, EPFL
Mark Pauly, EPFL
Alice Proux, HEAD – Genève
Florin Isvoranu, EPFL
Megan Danell, EPFL

Workshop Tutor: Leonid Slonimskiy, Alice Proux
Teaching Assistant: Damien Greder


Elsa Audouin
Sarah Bentivegna
Robin Delerce
Azadeh Djavanrouh
Marina Ezerskaia
Thibault Krauer
Nourbonou Missidenti
Patrycja Pawlik
Louise Plassard
Patris Sallaku
Yichen Wang
Nobuyoshi Yokota
Léa Rime

Image Credits © HEAD – Genève