September 3rd, 2010 — 6:33am
charles peas
Prince Charles, Andy Warhol, 1980 (source)


In the current economic crisis potentially expensive experimental proposals may be overlooked in favor of buildable, cost-effective ones, as tested methodologies are safer bets. But why would a member of a commissioning body resist supporting a project if cost is not a concern?


Prince Charles was recently involved in halting Richard Rogers’ scheme for Chelsea Barracks by directly contacting the Qatari royal family (the owners of the site) to lobby for an alternate Classical proposal by Quinlan Terry. Prince Charles’ architectural taste appears to privilege how well the style of the proposal relates to the style of the surrounding area, ignoring all other factors which determine how the scheme relates strategically to its site such as connectivity, massing, program etc. Here, taste has entered the design debate because the origins of an architectural form do not appear to be complacent within its setting. The style of the proposal does not reflect the style of its surroundings, and the proposal is deemed to be out of place, undermining what the Prince has determined… more



Still from Peas, Wolfgang Tillmans, 2003 (source)


For Immanuel Kant, taste is both personal and beyond reasoning. Perhaps this explains Kant’s culinary desires which include peas, turnips, cod, caviar and Göttingen sausages. Through the careful assemblage of ingredients, an individual is able to satisfy their unique palette.


Cooking, much like architecture finds its form through building. Both professions draw upon a plethora of raw materials to assemble their basic elements into entities that evolve and endure in the form of memorable temperatures, textures and tastes.


Given the similarities between architecture and the culinary arts, could taste be the next frontier to be explored by architects? Beyond appealing to a consumer’s visual sensibilities, companies such as Comme des Garçons are branding their Dover Street Market, retail space through the creation of an eponymous scent as a means of cementing their identity, perhaps taste is next in line as a novel purveyor of atmospheric potential.


Fionnuala Heidenreich

Erandi de Silva


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