The modern gingerbread house industry looked so promising a few years ago; I eagerly followed every launch. But this year, it seems to have tanked as deeply as the modern construction industry. I would have thought that, along with the tiny house and shedworking movements, gingerbread would thrive in tough times; they are small, relatively economical and so very green, probably automatic cradle to cradle platinum given their edibility.
The gingerbread housing starts stats are just awful, and parallel those of the housing industry in general. I just can't find any good ones to show this year. (if you know of some, please send them to me via a link in comments!)
Melodie and Brenton entered their Fallingwater Gingerbread in a Gingerbread House Festival in Oren, Utah, but lost out to some tacky overdone faux traditional thing. And that is after spending 12 hours designing and 40 hours building. Recipe at Melodie's website and more images at if it's hip it's here.
In fact the most popular gingerbread house on the internet this year is a crack house designed by Jane Hansen, and it is a retread, dating back to 2007.
Income disparity has increased dramatically in America, so there is so little to see between the crack houses and the faux chateaus of the rich hedgies and traders of Greenwich, who are adverse to green modern. Needless to say, the Neiman Marcus version of a gingerbread house is going to be big and expensive, like $ 15,000. But hey, you can dine on it for months; Geekologie notes that
This unique edible playhouse is handcrafted of 381 lbs. of gourmet gingerbread and 517 lbs. of royal icing by the expert confectioners at Dylan's Candy Bar®. The munchable manor, which stands 6.6 feet high by 5.25 feet wide by 4.1 feet deep, incorporates the best confections from the world's largest candy store in New York City. With literally thousands of signature gourmet sweets from which to choose, it is both artfully designed and decadently delicious. It includes giant cookies, lollipops, gummies, mints, gumdrops, and (of course) a candy-encrusted roof. There's also a lollipop tree inside, just for good measure.
Image: Michelle Kaufmann
It is such a shame too, because GAD (gingerbread aided design) was just gaining traction. Michelle Kaufmann, always a leader in the industry, used GAD to design her MKSolaire house, working it all out in gingerbread, and then sending the recipe to the factory where they built the real thing using the latest GAD-GAM technology:
Image: Lloyd Alter
What a shame, green modern gingerbread had such promise. See our gingerbread archives:
A Brief History of Modern Gingerbread Design
More Green Modern Gingerbread
Modern Prefab Gingerbread Houses
Midcentury Modern Gingerbread House
Michelle Kaufmann Does Gingerbread