CULTURAL HISTORY OF THE PANCAKE AND ITS MEANING TO ARCHITECTURE
   

 
               
     
             
     
             



The Pancake project is ultimately about the arbitrariness of focus for research: pick out any one – or preferably two – things, be interested in them, in themselves and in their connections, and if you keep on persisting on gathering information on these topics, you will end up understanding, not only something of those two, but of so much more… I hope.


The project started from the Netherlands where I noticed that there seemed to be a very strong culture around eating pancakes: there is a special architecture that most of the pancake houses follow, there is a special type of boat for having pancakes, and starting to talk about pancakes I was overwhelmed by all the things people had to say about them. Not just all the cultural differences of how to prepare a pancake and what to serve it with, but also all the childhood stories, pleasant birthday memories or family tragedies, came out of people when discussing pancakes.


Then I started to consider the phenomena of the pancake more formally: the great pancake, the poffertjes (tiny fluffy pancakes), the crepe, the thick American pancake, not to mention the many many times folded-over Turkish pancake. What kind of a material is dough? What do all these different forms mean? And that’s when I turned back to the architecture where it all had begun: the pancake house! What is the meaning of these forms? The different materials? The connections to the environment – or alienation from it? Can there be seen a connection between a New York skyscraper and the thick organic matter of an American pancake? Or is it the dynamic between the two that create their ultimate meaning?


By the apparent nonsensical approach of this project I wish to address the social aspect of architecture and pancakes as well as to make something about the structures and methods of research visible: making a museum or an archive of a futile attempt to understand the world through two arbitrary given premises….. The method could be paralleled to that surrealist notion that putting a sewing-machine and an umbrella together you will gain a deeper understanding of the world and yourself, than by simply looking at an umbrella or a sewing-machine separately.