Matthew Bird: Dormitorium
Dormitorium is the latest interactive sculptural project by Melbourne-based architect and MADA Senior Lecturer Dr Matthew Bird.
Well known for his progressive and experimental methods Bird draws across and unites numerous creative disciplines from architecture and interior design to installation art, photography and performance to realise projects that challenge traditional modes of living. A distinguishing feature of his work is the seamless integration of prosaic objects into highly finished constructions.
Bird’s recent research navigates the changing traditions of sleep spaces and the potential these have to profoundly affect the way we rest and rejuvenate. One in three Australians suffer from sleep disorders, which can be influenced by sleeping partners, psychological factors and the ubiquity of technology, which ultimately impact the way we participate in daily life and society. In response to these concerns Bird created Sarcophagus (2016-17) which was first exhibited at the Palazzo Mora as part of the 15th International Architecture Biennale, Venice, Italy. Sarcophagus presented again as part of this exhibition, is imagined as a nomadic vessel where individuals can experience the transformative and meditative environment of the sarcophagus’ interior, which is heightened by the cyclical film sequence viewed by visitors lying within the vessel.
Extending this solitary experience, Bird’s Dormitorium playfully critiques our every-day sleep rituals and sleep patterns in a more social setting. Through this project Bird has engaged sleep research specialists alongside digital and performance artists to create a hypothetical, futuristic sleep environment. Visitors are invited to lie in the sheepskin lined cots, with friends or strangers, to experience the animated light projections that simulate a range of natural lighting conditions from sunset to sunrise, which are enhanced by the slow calming movement of the bed turntable.