Dezeen Magazine

Architectural jelly design competition

Dezeen is proud to be involved in what will surely prove the most important architectural competition of the year: the Architectural Jelly Design Competition.


Architects are invited to submit designs that will be made into jellies that will be exhibited (and eaten) at a special Architectural Jelly Banquet during the London Festival of Architecture 2008, which runs from 20 June to 20 Jely. Jully. July.

Entries will be judged on innovation, aesthetics and “wobble factor”, with the best jelly moulds auctioned to raise money for Architects for Aid. The competition is curated by jelly experts Bompas & Parr.

Read on for the call for entries and the brief...


Architectural jelly design competition: call for entries


Today, architectural practices have been invited to enter the Architectural Jelly Design Competition curated by Bompas & Parr. Leading architects are designing jelly moulds as part of the London Festival of Architecture. The resulting moulds and preparatory material will be auctioned on behalf of Architects for Aid, a charity dedicated to providing building expertise to NGOs and community groups.
Entries received before the deadline of midnight on 23 May will be transformed into jelly moulds by the team at Bompas & Parr. These moulds will be used to create jellies that will be judged alongside the entry material submitted. Confirmed judges include:

  • Matt Bell, CABE Director of Campaigns and Education,
  • Ivan Day, Food Historian,
  • Marcus Fairs, editor-in-chief,
  • Stephen Gage, Professor of Innovative Technology, UCL,
  • Sarah Gaventa, Director of CABE Space,
  • Maxwell Hutchinson, Founder of Architects for Aid,
  • Peter Murray, Director of LFA 2008,
  • Philippa Stockley, Evening Standard Homes and Property,

Each entry will be judged on innovation, aesthetics and “wobble factor”. The best will be auctioned on behalf of Architects for Aid during the festival.

The competition is part of a series of events across the London Festival of Architecture that explore the relationship between food and architecture. The results will be on display to the public during the Architectural Jelly Banquet being held in UCL’s Quad on the 4th July.

Tickets are available, from the 5th May, from

Harry Parr, Partner of Bompas & Parr comments: “The competition allows architects to showcase their creativity on behalf of charity. It should also be lots of fun. Early indicators show that there’s going to be tough competition between inspired entries: I know that some practices have been quivering to get started.”

Bompas & Parr curates spectacular culinary events; creates fine English jellies; and designs bespoke jelly moulds.

The work of Bompas & Parr operates in the space between food and architecture. Projects explore how the taste of food is influenced by synaesthesia, performance and setting. Jelly is currently the focus of research: jelly is the perfect site for an examination of food and architecture due to its uniquely plastic form and the historic role it has played in exploring notions of taste.

For the London Festival of Architecture, Bompas & Parr is curating three projects:

The Architectural Jelly Design Competition that will raise awareness of the relationship between food and architecture and raise money for Architects for Aid.

The Architectural Jelly Banquet: a jelly extravaganza in the heart of London. Visit UCL’s Main Quad; on Gower Street, London, W1; on the night of the 4th July will enjoy the spectacle, and taste, of an array of over 1000 jellies in a neo-classical architectural landscape. Specially commissioned sound and light displays will enhance the culinary experience and celebratory dancing will follow well into the night. Rigorous theory and chilled desserts can’t stop a party.

The 2D Feast: illustrator Emma Rios will create a life-sized two-dimensional feast that people can explore on the 5th July in Montague Place. Visitors will be asked to spot architectural motifs hidden across the spread before being photographed as eager diners.


Architectural jelly design competition: brief


Jelly had its heyday in the late 19th Century: exquisite copper moulds were made that transformed the jelly into the most noble of desserts. The key features of these moulds are regular geometry, tiered designs and plastic forms. Forget all this! Bompas & Parr are giving you the opportunity to reinvent the jelly.

The rules:

  • Design how you want the jelly to look, not how the mould will be made
  • Use any techniques you want to show off your design: drawings, models, renders – there are no restrictions
  • Provide a 3D cad file in IGES format so that a mould can be fabricated (alternatively include scale drawings)
  • Maximum size is 15cm in any direction
  • Make sure there are no ‘undercuts’ in the shape as this will prevent the jelly from unmoulding

Think carefully about the structural nature of jelly as anything too tall and thin will collapse. But remember there is fine line between outstanding ‘wobble factor’ and disaster. You can design one jelly, a series of jellies or perhaps a jelly that can be repeated for a particular effect: the choice is yours.

One final thing: don’t forget to say what flavour you jelly is. What Louis Sullivan meant to say was ‘form follows flavour’! The team at Bompas & Parr will be able to create any flavour that you wish your jelly to have, so don’t hold back.

Entries received by the closing date will be shortlisted and the top ten will be created for the judging panel. All shortlisted entries will appear at the jelly banquet. Any submitted media may be auctioned for Architects for Aid.

Entries should be emailed to: [email protected]

or by post to
Bompas & Parr LLP
197A Southwark Bridge Road
London SE1 0ED

The deadline is midnight 23 May. Be sure to include your name and company (if applicable).

Please direct any questions to Harry Parr: [email protected] or + 44 7861 233 461