Take Part In The Museum of Architecture’s Gingerbread House City Exhibition
It Takes A Village To Build A Gingerbread City
Calling all (gingerbread house) architects, the annual Museum of Architecture’s Gingerbread City needs you. For the first time, the MoA exhibition, which usually hosts miniature biscuit builds by the world’s leading architecture practices, is open to any bakers with a sweet tooth.
They’ve turned their website into a Free Gingerbread Advent Calendar with downloadable activities for kids and adults, behind the scenes, recipes and more. You’re just one click from creating your own modernist gingerbread mansion, a mere spiced bite away from a brutalist biscuit build.
The Museum of Architecture is the brainchild of New Yorker by birth, Londoner by choice, architect, Melissa Woolford. Her mission, to create a pop-up and online museum as a medium to ‘better engage the public with architecture and the built environment and The Gingerbread City is a way to teach people about architecture and cities through a familiar medium such as gingerbread houses so they can see what architects can do.
After its fourth year which was installed at the Somerset House, MoA’s Gingerbread City Exhibition might have crumbled under Tier 3 Coronavirus restrictions in the UK, which have made it impossible for the gingerbread cityscape to pop up. However, Melissa and her team have risen to the occasion and in the process allowed us all to have a go at housebuilding.
Greyscape asked Melissa:
What was your inspiration for Gingerbread City?
I went to a Christmas show and saw a large dollhouse size gingerbread houses designed by bakers and I thought how amazing it would be to see an entire city made out of gingerbread designed by architects.
How will it work this year?
Make your own Gingerbread House and send in a photo to win the title: The Gingerbread City’s Home Baker 2020
There will be three categories to enter and win:
- Your own creation
- Santa’s House
- Ice Castle
To enter, take a photo of your creation and Instagram your entry with the category you are entering and include the hashtag #TheGingerbreadCityHomeBaker2020
Alternatively, send the photo in by email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the category and your name.
Winners will be chosen on 24 December to be revealed on Christmas Day
Do you make Gingerbread Houses yourself? Any tips?
Patience, patience, patience to let the icing dry before you start to decorate!
We read that in the past architects in effect purchased a plot from the city’s masterplan – given that everyone is relooking at historic city centres care of the pandemic – do you think the Gingerbread City 2021 will reflect the move away from the traditional city centre?
We will certainly see a change and re-thinking of what a city will be going forward. I believe cities will still play an important role in being a hub for cultural institutions, universities and places where people come together – when we can. With more people having moved outside of the city and working from home, we will have to consider that shift in the next iteration of Gingerbread City and take the opportunity to think radically about what cities of the future can be.
Has lockdown brought positives as well as challenges to MoA?
The lockdown has forced us to put all of our programming online this year, which has been an incredible amount of work with no additional funding. The Gingerbread City is our biggest fundraiser of the year and without those funds, this next year will be hard. However, we have started new programmes such as the School for Creative Thinkers that we hope will grow and help to support the Museum this year.
Plans for 2021?
We can’t wait to bring The Gingerbread City back to London as we have missed our visitors this year. We also hope to expand further afield in 2021.
We are very interested in the School for Creative Thinkers, can you tell us more about it?
School for Creative Thinkers is our response to all of the prescriptive children’s’ activities that we have seen come out of lockdown. We don’t want children just to follow step by step directions to make something, there is no imagination or creativity in that. In our kits, we teach kids about design through nature – something they are familiar with and love. Each month kids receive a box of magazines, materials, crafts and activities as well as access to an online club with monthly videos and community sharing. We give children challenges to make their own designs with the materials provided by using their ideas based on what they have learned. Each outcome is individual and unique. This way of learning will help them problem solve in the future, build self-expression and confidence.
Greyscape quick-fire questions
On the basis of Sex about RBG (Ruth Bader Ginsburg). She was such an amazing woman.
The lockdown song that helps?
Try Everything by Shakira – because we have had to try everything…
How you can support the Museum of Architecture
Don’t forget to tag your creations on Instagram:
All images are the copyright of MoA, Gingerbread City, Luke Hayes and Luke O’Donovan