Bompas & Parr Pharmacafe

Bompas & Parr leads in flavor-based experience design, culinary research, architectural installations and contemporary food design.  The studio first came to prominence through its expertise in jelly-making, but has since gone on to create immersive flavor-based experiences ranging from an inhabitable cloud of gin and tonic, the world’s first multi-sensory fireworks and a Taste Experience for the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, officially the best place to taste Guinness in the world.   They have also written four books, the most recent in late 2014 which saw the studio republish Memoirs of a Stomach, a lost-and-forgotten 18th century tome brought up to date with visuals from inside the digestive tract of food writer, pop-up chef and Sunday Times columnist Gizzi Erskine.

The studio  consists of a team of creatives, cooks, designers, specialized technicians and architects. With Sam Bompas and Harry Parr the team works to experiment, develop, produce and install projects, artworks, jellies and exhibitions, as well as archiving, communicating, and contextualizing the work. Bompas & Parr also collaborates with specialist technicians, engineers, artists, scientists, musicians and many other disciplines to create wondrous events.  
The studio works with some of the biggest companies and the world’s foremost cultural institutions to give people emotionally compelling or inspiring experiences.

Bompas & Parr has exhibited at Barbican Art Gallery, Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, Salon del Mobile, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Serpentine Gallery, Victoria & Albert Museum and the Welcome Collection and collaborated with such firms as Diageo, Cargill, Self-ridges, Disney, Louis Vuitton, Unilever, Vodafone, Kraft Foods, Heinz and Mercedes-Benz.


Bompas & Parr ran the PharmaCafé, filling it with peppermint mists, herbal drink concoctions and a remedial ginger mist to explore the future of healthcare. The installation was part of the 2015 Museum of future of government services, a project by the Prime Minister’s Office of the UAE directed by Tellart with an international team of top design studios including Specular, Soft lab, Bompas & Parr, Octo, Idee Und Klang, and Future Cities Catapult. The onsite build and installation was done by Tellart in collaboration with Publicist Live, Neumann & Müller and Projex UAE.

Guests were given a specific nutraceutical drink based on their own DNA, obtained by a hand scan at the entrance to the café. Bompas & Parr designed ayurvedic-inspired drinks, blending herbs, spices and flowers. Ingredients ranged from violet, chamomile, lemongrass and dandelion to turmeric, thyme, rosemary and lovage. Violet for its antiseptic qualities, dandelion as nature’s richest green vegetable source of beta-carotene, turmeric to boost the hormone BDNF, which increases growth of new neurons and fights degenerative processes in the brain and lovage, which contains quercetin, a flavor found in fruits and vegetables which acts as a natural anti-histamine.   Flavor pills were added to each drink giving guests an alerting burst of flavor as they took their remedy. Cherry pills were chosen as a source of anthocyanin, violet for its antiseptic qualities and peppermint for it’s digestive benefits.  Bespoke glass dry ice pouring flasks, based on lab-based conical and retort flasks  were used by lab coat-wearing assistants who filled each glass with an energizing, memory and alertness enhancing peppermint mist.  

Ginger, prized as a reviving stimulant for its medicinal properties, and with an aroma known to activate the trigeminal nerve, was the last of the Pharma Cafe’s medicinal experiences. A ginger wellness mist, floating and falling from the shoulder-height bar, provided guests with a final restorative boost before leaving their PharmaCafé appointment.

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