You might say we have a thing for gingerbread competitions. Our affinity for tasty design challenges started with the Gingerbread Bridge Competition. After winning two years in a row, we now participate annually in OMSI’s Gingerbread Adventures, a fun exhibit that pairs architects with bakers to create themed gingerbread sculptures. This year, we teamed up again with our favorite bakers at Bon Appétit Management Company to see if we could top our last confectionary creation.
To address this year’s “Illusions” theme, we participated in several brainstorming sessions with Bon Appétit before landing on the concept of a mirrored infinity, inspired by infinity rooms such as those done by Yayoi Kusama and others. Then we started to think of what one might see “behind” the mirror and the answer was obvious: an alternate dimension of Portland.
Our sculpture, “Keep Portland Meird,” celebrates the weirdness of Portland in a mirrored, Dr. Seussian reality. Constructed out of gingerbread and candy, the sculpture is a diorama of the city with an unusual perspective, incorporating the strange and festive world of Dr. Seuss. Viewers can see the Grinch at home at Mt. Hood, while the Cat in the Hat, the citizens of Whoville, and other characters mingle around landmarks such as the Convention Center, Pioneer Courthouse Square, the KOIN tower, and OMSI itself. The result is a sculpture that offers a multitude of views and scenes when viewed from different angles.
We’d like to thank our amazing team members at Soderstrom and Bon Appétit for all their hard work, and the talented Gavin Redshaw for his wiring and electrical expertise. We are especially grateful to River City Glass, for generously donating the mirrors and helping us create our illusion.
Want to see the Gingerbread Adventures exhibit in person? Visit OMSI any time before January 1st to check it out!