Many years ago, they delighted us with a jelly banquet which has gone down in LFA history as a defining moment of architectural experimentation. Those edible edifices have long been used as a symbol of the festival and everything it stands for. It was only the start of Bompass & Parr’s creative journey as experiential designers and this year they celebrate their 10th anniversary as masters of culinary pomp and circumstance.
What better way than with a grand soiree for long-time friends and supporters of the studio? We were invited to their hub of research and development for an event that was described as the Temple of the Tongue, with the promise of all the projects deemed too strange, repulsive, provocative or dangerous for the Bompass & Parr clientele. Many of these ideas were pitched and rejected on the ground of good taste but how can you argue with the princes of the palate?
Harry and Sam had transformed the yard outside their office into a smoking cacophony of sounds, sights and smells that overwhelmed the senses and delighted in equal measure. Like a kid in a sweetshop I wasn’t sure if I should start with the Espresso Martini watercooler or check out the World’s Worst Cake Competition. As it turns out, I wasn’t given much choice and began the proceedings with a sample of the Night of 1,000 blue tongues (a mouth staining shot). Sadly, I had no swimwear for a splash in the Volcano Jacuzzi and there was no way you were going to get me to slide down the Waste Chute Digestive Tract. I did manage to enjoy the Optics Chandelier and then feast myself on a burger off the back of a motorbike, while enjoying the tunes that belted out of Lord Gelly’s Carnival sound system.
I’m sure the delectable duo wanted to surprise and delight but they also added the frisson of danger to the evening’s proceedings. The revelers were transported to a series of strange and wonderful places for one night only and that’s how it should stay. I look forward to the next 10 years of extravaganzas, each one completely different from the last.
Photo credit Bompass & Parr