The Grammar of Taste | 口味的语法

The Grammar of Taste | China, Wuhan

Designing with Flavors | The Architect’s Sensory Palette

Design Inspired by the 5 Tastes of Architecture

In the world of design, innovation knows no bounds, and creativity is limited only by the imagination. Today, we embark on a unique journey—a journey that transcends the conventional boundaries of architecture and ventures into the realms of taste and sensation.


‘The Grammar of Taste’ is a project that brings together two seemingly distinct worlds: the art of architectural design and the sensory delight of culinary mastery. Here, we explore the intriguing parallels between flavours and forms, where the five primary tastes of cuisine find their architectural counterparts in the five ontological elements of design.


Join us in a realm where spaces become dishes, and designs become flavours. We invite you to savour not only the culinary creations but also the very essence of design itself, where innovation meets inspiration, and creativity knows no bounds. Welcome to ‘The Grammar of Taste,’ where taste and architecture merge to create an unforgettable experience for the senses.


Symbolism Unveiled
Decoding the Language of Point, Line, Triangle, Square, and Circle

In the realm of culinary delights, flavours come to life through the harmonious combination of five primary tastes: Sweet, Salty, Sour, Bitter, and Umami. Yet, in the world of architecture, a similar culinary-inspired framework can be applied to create spaces that tantalize the senses. This is the intriguing concept we explore in the fusion of restaurant design and the five ontological elements of architecture: Point, Line, Triangle, Square, and Circle.


In the lexicon of gastronomy, the notion of ‘spicy’ evokes a unique and exhilarating sensation that doesn’t conform to the conventional classification of tastes. However, for our culinary architectural endeavour, we’ll embrace ‘spicy’ as an essential ingredient in the recipe for creating spaces that leave a lasting impression.


Unlike a home dining area, a restaurant is no ordinary place for experiencing tastes. Through its architecture, a restaurant should transcend the ordinary, elevating its purpose and embodying its unique essence. It should resonate with the very elements that define its existence.


Much like the artistry of a master chef who crafts delectable dishes from a palette of flavours, architecture draws from a foundational palette of five ontological components. Each of these elements holds the potential to be as versatile and profound as the five tastes of cuisine.


Point

In the architectural realm, the ‘Point’ serves as a singular focal element, akin to the tangy ‘Sour’ flavor that awakens the taste buds. Just as a zesty twist of citrus can invigorate a dish, the ‘Point’ in design adds vibrancy, directing attention to specific details that deserve recognition.


In the world of art and philosophy, the ‘Point’ transcends mere physicality and ventures into the realm of abstraction. Wassily Kandinsky, a pioneer of abstract art, extolled the ‘Point’ as a spiritual element. For Kandinsky, the ‘Point’ represented the beginning of a journey, a singular mark that could evoke profound emotions and ideas. Much like the philosopher Immanuel Kant’s notion of the ‘noumenon,’ the ‘Point’ exists beyond immediate perception, serving as a gateway to deeper realms of thought and aesthetics.


Line

The ‘Line’ in architecture serves as the structural backbone, much like the bitter undertones in culinary creations that provide depth and contrast. It offers guidance and definition to spaces, similar to how bitterness enhances and balances flavors in a dish.


The ‘Line,’ an elemental force in architecture, resonates deeply within European artistic traditions. Explore the works of Dutch artist Piet Mondrian, known for his contributions to De Stijl, an art movement that sought to distill visual language to its fundamental elements. Mondrian’s iconic abstract paintings, characterized by grids of lines, epitomize the movement’s quest for visual harmony and purity. Much like the philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel’s dialectical process of thesis-antithesis-synthesis, the ‘Line’ in Mondrian’s art symbolizes the synthesis of opposing elements into a unified whole.


Triangle

Architectural ‘Triangles’ embody equilibrium and harmony, akin to the ‘Umami’ taste in cuisine that enhances overall flavor. Just as a dash of soy sauce elevates a dish, the ‘Triangle’ element in design introduces a sense of balance and vitality to a space.


The ‘Triangle,’ symbolizing balance and harmony, resonates artistically with the architectural principles attributed to the ancient Greek mathematician Pythagoras. Pythagoras had an enduring fascination with the number three, considering it the first true number and a symbol of cosmic harmony. In his teachings, he emphasized the triad as a fundamental principle, where the One represents the origin, the Two embodies wisdom, and the Three signifies the ultimate harmony. The ‘Triangle,’ composed of the
number three, evokes the mystical and stable nature cherished by Pythagoras, symbolizing the divine union of the One and the Two.


Square

The ‘Square’ in architecture embodies stability and order, much like the ‘Salty’ essence in food that adds structure and balance to flavors. Similar to how salt enhances and balances the taste of a dish, the ‘Square’ element contributes depth and sophistication to design.


The ‘Square’ in architecture encapsulates principles of stability and order. Just as the German architect Walter Gropius championed the Bauhaus movement’s emphasis on geometric purity and functional design, the ‘Square’ symbolizes the pursuit of precision and equilibrium in architectural composition. In the artistic domain, German painter and art theorist Josef Albers delved into the profound elegance of the ‘Square,’ as evident in his iconic ‘Homage to the Square’ series. Within our architectural narrative, the ‘Square’ serves as the meticulously structured canvas upon which life unfolds—a testament to the enduring quest for perfection and harmony.


Circle

The ‘Circle’ in architecture symbolizes unity and continuity, much like the sweet ‘Circle’ that completes a delectable dessert. The ‘Circle’ element seamlessly connects elements, providing a sense of completeness and satisfaction.


The ‘Circle,’ mirrors the philosophical concept of the eternal and the infinite. It invokes the ideas of artists who believed that circles represented the spiritual and the cosmic. In architecture, the ‘Circle’ serves as a symbol of completeness, echoing Plato’s philosophy of the eternal and unchanging Forms. Our architectural ‘Circle’ encompasses the boundless potential of design, inviting us to contemplate the infinite possibilities that arise from unity and continuity.


The Art of Senses | Where Geometry Meets Gastronomy

In this exploration of architectural symbolism, we are reminded of the profound connections between art, philosophy, and design. Each element—Point, Line, Triangle, Square, and Circle—transcends its material form, inviting us to delve deeper into the realms of creativity, perception, and philosophy. Just as artists and philosophers have sought to express the ineffable through their chosen mediums, our architectural
elements beckon us to ponder the profound questions of existence and aesthetics in the spaces we inhabit.


This project is conducted in collaboration with JAPL London LTD