about us and our blog

Matters of Taste CEO, CFO & Chief Officer of All Things Tasty is an architectural historian, college professor, former architect, avid traveller, serious home-cook, amateur photographer, movie-watcher, constant critic. Her musings, observations, epiphanies and opinions that do not fit neatly into any of those aforementioned pursuits are gathered here as Matters of Taste, and you are welcome to them.

for chumps.

Matters of Taste staff–virtually dozens of specialists in the fields of architecture, art, film, food, travel, fashion, history, literature, and world culture in general–was thrilled, honored, glorified and beadazzled to be named recipient of a Drysdale Award in 2010, and is completely over the moon having won a second Drysdale for 2011, standing proudly alongside fellow luminaries including American treasure Andy Rooney and the incomparable Chewbacca, Ergo Sum.

The Drysdale Award is a time-honored and prestigious mark of distinction and achievement in public service and world-embetterment through the means of publications of on-line literature that makes the Pulitzer look like a Little League “Excellence in Participation” Ribbon.

13 thoughts on “about us and our blog

  1. Thank you for posting on my HHR entry! My goal is to spread my knowledge of HHR to everyone out there who has never heard of this genius before! Jim O’Gorman and other notable scholars have been doing that for years, but with a new emphasis on blogging, we can continue O’Gorman’s and Margaret Henderson Floyd’s work!

    The Woburn Public Library is quite the building, absolutely breathtaking, as are all his buildings of course!

  2. How can you extol Apple-crisp free zones! I love crisps. In fact, forget the apples and just give me the toppings!

  3. I found your “how to buy a present for an architect” entry very funny and insightful. i hope you dont mind if i share it with our newsletter in time for our christmas issue. Of course i’ll include your name and your blog. Thanks again!

    Jimmy Hermogenes
    United Architects of the Philippines
    Makati Chapter

  4. I’m a physician and have a daughter, Rebecca L Cox, who graduated from UK College of Architecture and then worked a few years in Berlin, followed by a few years at VOA and Perkins & Will in Chicago. Your gift advice is so accurate that I was first suspicious that this was a hoax and that was my daughter who wrote this.

    Regarding garmets, I asked a young woman architect at Perkins & Will, “It seems that all of you 400 architects wear black. Is that all you ever wear?” She replied, “Oh no, sir. At Christmas we wear festive shades of grey!”

    So for that reason and others reasons I know from my daughter, your gift advice is, while humorous, it is seriously accurate. I enjoyed it greatly. (Rebecca forwarded it to me. hint hint?).

  5. The how to buy an architect a gift post was great. It’s been bouncing around my office for weeks. We’re all wondering if you’ll write an “how to” for dating an architect! ??
    Keep them coming I love this blog.

  6. Are you aware of the newly formed society in England for C.F.A.Voysey and all his works? have a look and tell me what you think of our webite. Kind Regards Richard Hollis Treasurer www,voyseysociety.com

    1. What wonderful news! Thank you for the update; I’m delighted (but not surprised) that this most excellent designer has a group committed to his work. I was thrilled that one of his houses (Norney Grange) was included on a Victorian Society study tour that I took part in some years ago. Truly spectacular. I wish you all the best in this endeavor & hope to learn more of your activities in future. Hope you enjoyed the post on “Architecture’s Sweetheart;” CFAV was my valentine’s day tribute last year.

  7. Interesting, funny blog – “How to buy a present for an architect”. We have a son studying architecture! He (and his wife) has a well developed sense of style. We are giving him a printed copy of the blog with some “appropriate” gifts!

    Is it OK for us to print the blog?

  8. Today MoT pips Borromini to second place in Clio’s calendar. But had it not been publicised there, I wouldn’t otherwise have benefited from this fascinating blog, with which Clio seems to share a chemistry.

    I invite you to consider the following in relation to matters of taste and its obverse, meaning. For architecture the central question is not taste, but order. Taste belongs to the private realm of narcissistic bourgeois aesthetics. We can hear many rail against Zaha Hadid’ work on grounds of taste, ditto Frank Gehry, Mies, Foster, Farrell, Libeskind, and the plethora of various flavours available among ‘starchitects’. You might consider the Chiesa dei Cappuccini in poor taste, but does it embody meaning rather cogently?

    Cuisine is unequivocally concerned with taste in the physical sense MoT first discusses in its ‘manifesto’. In that respect there is nothing about a strawberry that is in any way inferior to a raspberry, so the exclusivity of what is ‘good’, ‘socially acceptable’ taste is irrelevant. Heston Blumenthal pushes that envelope, as did the Romans. The reduction of ornament post reformation, and Loos and Henry Cole’s theses (developed by william morris and the arts and crafts movement) sought an ethical foundation for the debate in an industrial age. Blake’s ‘satanic mills’ weren’t in good taste, nor were the slaveships which financed much tasteful architecture of bourgeois salons.

    Arguably the preoccupation with taste points to class distinction, hence the bourgeois obsession with it. The British were notoriously squeamish about spiced food, garlic, and whether you put milk in your cup first (to protect costly bone china from cracking in contact with hot water). To some extent the ubiquitous ‘Harm-burger’ captured a market there, as the UK’s fishing industry was decimated by EU regulation. Even tea drinking suffered and child obesity proliferates thanks largely to ‘diet’ cola ! Is it in ‘good taste’ that those are the sponsors of an Olympic Games ?

    Taste is therefore conditioned by marketing and the commercial interests behind that, whereas good ‘manners’, consideration for others, especially the less fortunate, and political and social justice, tend to appeal to concerns about poverty, inequality, sanitation, squatters rights, and so on, but those don’t make it to designer coffee tables much. The charge is then that matters of ‘taste’ are narcissistic, greed obsessed navel gazing in a moral vacuum.

    By the way, the ideal present for an architect if not cash, is a month’s unlimited travel rail ticket through europe.

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