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Caught napping

Pamela Buxton

Sto Werkstatt’s Sleeperie installation offers the weary office worker – or shopper – a snooze on the hoof

Credit: Carlo Draisci

Sleeperie is not a word I’ve come across before, but I’m all for it after a visit to Hypnos, London’s first – albeit temporary – sleeperie in Clerkenwell.

This restful installation is a collaboration between host Sto Werkstatt and designers Hassell and Draisci Studio, offering ten minute restorative naps as an escape from the hurly-burly of our media-rich lives.

It’s a fun and highly enjoyable experience. Participants are greeted by a sleep consultant who takes you to a relaxing antechamber with herbal teas, soothing mood music and sleep-themed reading materials and quizzes you on your sleeping habits. When your number is called, you take your place in one of the array of rather lovely woollen hammocks and snuggle down with your head on a lavender-scented pillow. As the hammock gently swings, more soporific sounds swirl around the sleeperie. A shhhhh-signed wall of Sto Werkstatt’s acoustic panelling enhances the whole cocooning experience. I didn’t actually drop off to sleep, but could imagine that anyone a little weary after a tough stint in the office might actually do so. 

Credit: Carlo Draisci

But as well as the playfulness there is a more serious side to Hypnos. According to Sto Werkstatt curator Amy Croft, the installation questions the way that sleep fits – and often doesn’t fit – into changing work patterns, and what impact different environments and materials can have on the quality of that sleep. How many of us really get the recommended eight hours a night? And how many of us sleep with our phones – still on – on the bedside table? With work invading our hours of rest, the prospect of sleeperies in work time, or even within the work environment, is surely not so unlikely. In the meantime at least there is Hypnos, which runs until the end of June, although there are hopes of recreating it at another venue at a later point. 

  • Credit: Carlo Draisci
  • Credit: Carlo Draisci
  • Credit: Carlo Draisci

Sadly, the sleeperie experience is all too brief. Sleep consultants very politely turf sleepers out of their hammock reverie after just ten minutes.

‘It’s not utopia. You can’t sleep forever. You have to get your power nap in 10 minutes and then go,’ said Croft. Then, after the micro-rest, it’s back to work, aided by a thoughtfully provided caffeine shot to see you on your way.

Hypnos – The Architecture of Sleep, until 30 June (Wed- Fri, 10am-4pm or by appointment) Sto Werkstatt, 7-9 Woodbridge Street, Clerkenwell, London.