Participatory Culture as a Site for the Reception of Architecture: Making a Giant Sydney Opera House Cake

Publisher:
Routledge
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Architectural Theory Review, 2013, 18 (3), pp. 325 - 339
Issue Date:
2013-01
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For Australia Day 2011, a cake production and decorating company named Planet Cake recruited volunteers to participate in the making of a 1:50 scale, edible replica of the Sydney Opera House. Whilst this event can be characterised as simply part of the building's uptake in popular culture, through Henry Jenkins' scholarship on participatory culture, the making of the cake can equally be conceptualised as a site for the reception of this particular building and place. Drawing on scholarship that describes the historic role of cake as the centrepiece of social occasions, and the increasing interest in Jenkins' concept of participatory culture as the use of social media platforms grows, this essay argues that practices such as cake making and decorating are possible sites for understanding some of the significance of the Sydney Opera House in the lives of its publics.
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