It’s something to taco ‘bout: Food and architecture have an interesting relationship. Very few of us can survive without roofs over our heads and definitely won’t last long without culinary sustenance, but the tie goes deeper. Where one inspires the other is often interchangeable and always fascinating.

food’s influence on architecture

Lance Hosey, FAIA, writes in Architectural Record that the Age of Enlightenment in the 18th century brought on new meanings to the word taste, which previously only referred to sensations of the palate. The desire to please the consumer was born and came to influence many professions. Hosey writes,

Using the gastronomic analogy to support personal formal preferences runs contrary to the historical relationships between architecture and cuisine. Both of these disciplines evolved directly out of local circumstances, and as a result their similarities can demonstrate strong ties between culture and place. Put simply, culture is the elevation of basic human needs. Architecture is to shelter what cuisine is to food: pleasure takes over from necessity as a simple shed transforms into a glorious cathedral, eggs into a soufflé.

Materials selection

Rachna, a B.Arch from G.Z.S. College of Engineering and Technology, Bathinda, Punjab and PGDID from National Institute of Design offers a tie-in when it comes to materials selection – whether it’s buildings or breakfast – in an article for Boloji.

Food varies according to region. The factor governing this is the availability of constituents which in turn is governed by climate. Different regions have their different cuisines which is true for architectural buildings also. As in food different tastes can be enjoyed occasionally but only the local staple diet is most relished constantly on daily basis. So in buildings one can have different vernacular styles anywhere one plans but the comfort level that comes with the regional architectural details cannot be achieved. As in food one has to alter and redefine the ingredients to suit the palate of the people of the area to make it acceptable.

Bits and bites

There’s no shortage of novelty architecture, with buildings in the shape of pineapples, bread, ice cream and even oysters. Another neat item is Bauhaus by Nicky&Max, a food photography series inspired by the influential art and design movement.

Design community, we’d love to offer a penne for your thoughts. Please reach out to us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram, and let us know if you’ve ever felt your own inspiration touched by food.