AIA South Dakota

11/28/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 11/28/2019 13:38

Thanksgiving Architecture

Assuming you haven't gotten to your Thanksgiving dessert yet, here is a bit of fluffy (but light) reading about the Architecture of the Thanksgiving Dinner.

I got my start last night (see cover image), and think I fared well, towards the informal. But I wonder if we can apply the realm of design and planning to the actual placement of food itself?

First issue of course (that admittedly could be a topic to end Thanksgiving table dinner conversations quicker than politics) are those camps that won't let any food touch on the plate. I liken such an approach to that of zoning officials who are quick to establish set-backs and buffer zones. All fine and dandy, especially if the various food types (uses) aren't complementary. But we're talking about Thanksgiving dinner hereā€¦

I'm more of an urbanist when it comes to the big Turkey Day. Everything is mixed use and density is key. This allows for a fork-friendly development where no precision is really needed in navigating the landscape. Like a downtown, nothing on the plate is contrary to any other dish, so the overlapping of the stuffing zone doesn't hinder the mashed potatoes and gravy occupancy.

Of course, the wine is necessarily contained to its part of the development, but the connection to it and the rest of the meal is assisted by the mass transit capability of the 'hand' and the wine glass, making the commute between food and drink minimal.

In a sentence, how would you describe your Thanksgiving meal as a 'development' or a 'design?'

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Chase Kramer, AIA, is an architect with TSP Inc. in Sioux Falls. He received his M.Arch from ISU where he focused on urban design and sustainability. Before that, he received a degree in Art from Augustana University. He lives in Sioux Falls with his wife and two daughters. Beyond Architecture, he is a musician, art lover, and fan of cheese and beer.