Villa Stiassni. Brno, Czechoslovakia. Alfred and Mitzi Stiassni, Jewish textile manufacturers, built the modernist mansion in 1927 and lived there with their only child, Susi, until 1938. Months before the Nazi invasion, they fled their country. The Villa Stiassni, now a Heritage site, was for decades occupied by a series of Czech governments.

Meanwhile, in California, Susi began to record her dreams. From 1968, for nearly four decades, she recorded over 20,000 of them. Two hundred dreams take place in Villa Stiassni. These represent Susi’s only return to her childhood home.

Susi Stiassni (1923-2005) was Daria Martin’s grandmother. Refuge, an interactive videogame, enables the user’s return, discovering dream diary pages along the way. Does a hidden threat lurk, or are they themselves the intruder?

The game was made in cooperation with Villa Stiassni and created in a collaboration with Masaryk University and Oxford University.

Daria Martin

Daria Martin and Laura Shacham

Design and development
Jiří Chmelík

Nikola Kunzová, David Kuťák

Image Capture
Richa Nahata, Olivia De Meyere

Guy Ducker

Design consultation
Ladan Cockshut, Zdeněk Záhora

Technical consultation
Milan Doležal, Pavel Kouřil

Sound design
Klára Jašková

Hayley Carmichael, Flora Nicholson

Zeena Parkins

Sound recordings
Daniel Jaramillo, Klára Jašková

Archival research
Rupert Emery

Photogrammetry software

Thanks to
The Martin Family
The Barbican
The Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco
The National Heritage Institute, Czech Republic
The Erasmus Programme
Florence Ostende
Heidi Rabben
Kateřina Konečná
Petr Svoboda
Petr Sojka
Maureen Paley