Dream The Combine

Dream The Combine

Jennifer Newsom: She // Her // Hers
Tom Carruthers: He // Him // His

[ID: A headshot of two people. Jennifer, an African-American woman with glasses and long natural locs, wears a black shirt and looks directly at the camera with her head tilted to the side. Tom, a white male with brown hair and a subtle beard, wears a black shirt and looks directly at the camera. Both are standing in front of a black background.]

Installation Artists and Architects
Minneapolis, MN and Ithaca, NY
2022 USA Fellow

This award was generously supported by MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett.

Jennifer Newsom and Tom Carruthers are architects, artists, and cofounders of Dream the Combine. Their partnership negotiates many binaries: black/white, male/female, foreigner/citizen. Much of their work is about bridging this gap in understanding — exploring the collision of multiple identities and contexts through installations in public space.

Dream the Combine’s site-specific installations are perceptual frameworks for vision and movement that aim to complicate the relationship between body, space, and image. They create social infrastructures — often out of materials linked to industrial processes — as platforms for visceral experiences that bring people together. Dream the Combine uses techniques of recombination and juxtaposition to work productively with difference.

Newsom and Carruthers have received numerous awards for their work, including a 2021 McKnight Fellowship for visualists, the 2020–21 J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller Prize, the 2018 Young Architects Program at MoMA PS1, the 2018 Art Omi: Architecture residency, and the 2017 FSP/Jerome Fellowship. Dream the Combine is also part of the curatorial ensemble for the 2023 Counterpublic triennial in St. Louis, Missouri.

Dream the Combine’s work has been published widely, appearing in Metropolis, Architect, Log, Architectural Record, Wallpaper*, and Curbed, among many other outlets. Both Newsom and Carruthers are graduates of the Yale School of Architecture and are faculty at Cornell AAP.

Portrait photo by Rik Sferra.

  • Artwork by Dream The Combine
    Hide & Seek, 2018. Steel, glass mirror, canopy fabric, hammock netting, mist, lights, dimensions 18,000 square feet. Photo by Brandon Polanco; courtesy MoMA PS1.
    [ID: A crowd of people sits on an architectural installation with netting forming the floor under a black canopy. White concrete walls rise around them. A mirror hung at the rear of the space reflects the people seated so that the crowd appears to be double the size.]
  • Artwork by Dream The Combine
    Lure, 2019. Debris net, steel, 24 × 56 × 60 feet. Photo by Caylon Hackwith.
    [ID: A photo of a person, blurred from movement, ascending a metal ramp with walls of translucent blue fabric. The ramp zig-zags across the interior space where it has been set up.]
Artwork by Dream The Combine Artwork by Dream The Combine