My grandmother owned a small bakery on an island in the Philippines. I remember her waking up at 4 am to knead batches of dough with great effort. Pan de sal was her specialty, which translates to salt bread. Locals would line up as early as the rooster’s crow. My grandmother taught me the fundamentals of being a hard worker and a creative problem solver through baking, which helped build the foundation of my career in architecture. I learned that it takes multiple iterations and you can approach your craft in different ways to create a final product. One of the most important lesson I’ve learned is spending too much unnecessary time on your work can lead to unproductivity. This makes for a messy kitchen and an exhausted brain. It is good to take a break and go for a walk or take a nap to gain more energy and inspiration.
Most people do not realize there is a correlation between food and architecture. In fact, the two professions have similarities. Both start with an unfinished ingredient that compliments each other to provide structure and an experience. I think about my grandmother’s simple bread recipe. You have bread flour, yeast, warm water, salt, & fat. The warm water helps activate the yeast, which gives the bread an airy texture. The bread flour gives the bread a stretchy texture due to its high protein content. Salt enhances the flavor of the bread. Fat gives the bread richness. Similarly, architecture is quite the same. You have the concrete slab that provides the foundation. Steel or wood providing structure. Glass provides light into the building. These elements help mold a building to create an experience.
You must not forget about presentation, one of the most important aspects of both professions. As humans, we eat with our eyes first. Having a well-balanced aesthetic of food will attract people. Comparably, architects need to be presentable to their clients through their renderings, sketches and their attire.
Overall, food and architecture are two things I am most passionate about. They both play an integral part in molding who I am today. At first glance they seem to be freestanding, however, if you look close enough you will see the similarities.