Fermentation Fusion

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In the culturally diverse landscape of New Zealand, the enchanting interplay of food, architecture, and cultural identity unfolds, where the experiences of pleasure and disgust are intertwined, resonating within the realms of both gastronomy and architectural design. This thesis explores a fundamental question: Can these experiences, entwined as they are, serve as catalysts for unity among diverse cultural communities?

My research starts with a noteworthy artifact recognized as the On-gi Hang-a-ri, a specifically designed barrel intended for fermentation. Historically, this barrel functioned as a container for fermenting a diverse array of foods and sauces, including 김치 (fermented cabbage), 된장 (soybean paste), and 막걸리 (rice wine). My intrigue focuses on comprehending the evolving dynamics of our engagement with these fermented delicacies over time.


This event constituted an architectural journey encompassing several phases: procuring ingredients from local supermarkets, preparing and cooking in my kitchen, and culminating in a communal gathering around a large table in my dining room.

As part of the culinary experience, I extended invitations to Korean acquaintances, presenting a menu featuring tacos. Recognizing the preference of Koreans for lighter fare, the culinary endeavour aimed to address this cultural distinction. I incorporated familiar Korean flavours such as Kimchi and Duin-jang into the taco recipes to harmonise the culinary traditions.

This initial experiment is a poignant illustration, underscoring a foundational sentiment: "Despite the passage of years in New Zealand, my Korean heritage remains an integral component of my identity." This gastronomic encounter underscores the pivotal nexus connecting food, architecture, and cultural specificity.


Experiment two delves into the prospect of cultivating meaningful interactions and dialogues within a diverse social circle by introducing elements of my cultural heritage. To achieve this, I orchestrated a dinner gathering with friends of varied backgrounds, featuring the Korean dish 비빔밥(Bi-bim-bap) as the focal point. Throughout this event, I undertook the initiative of acquainting my friends with aspects of Korean history, particularly focusing on fermented foods, sparking dynamic conversations as they reciprocated by sharing their cultural narratives and experiences.

This cultural interchange, I observed, mirrors the intricate nature of fermentation—a process wherein diverse elements converge to create novel and distinctive culinary experiences. Termed "Fermentation Fusion," this phenomenon encapsulates the amalgamation of different fermented foods, techniques, and cultural influences to forge a rich tapestry of unique gastronomic encounters.


This design centres on the innovative concept of the 'Public Kitchen,' an intricately designed space meticulously crafted to facilitate profound interactions and dialogues within a diverse community. Within this domain, the symbiotic exchange of cultures mirrors the intricate processes of fermentation, where diverse elements converge to forge a distinctive fusion capable of simultaneously appealing and challenging the senses—an integration aptly termed 'Fermentation Fusion.'

Throughout this thesis, we have comprehensively explored the multifaceted dynamics inherent in culinary and architectural encounters. Our examination delves into how these encounters play a pivotal role in shaping and redefining cultural interactions, thereby contributing to creating a more vibrant tapestry of multiculturalism within the context of New Zealand.

My series of spaces offers a transformative journey into fermentation, engaging the senses of smell, taste, touch, and sight. This immersive experience extends beyond the individual, fostering connections with others who, in turn, share their analyses and perspectives. The intentional integration with diverse individuals and the mutual exchange of cultural insights collectively strive towards creating a more cohesive and enriched society.