Building upon the 2012 thematic project, research by making, and exhibition, named FABRIKAAT, which was shown at Ventura Lambrate 2012 during Milan Design Week, this year the project focuses on the kitchen.
The Modern Kitchen. A brief history.
“The modern kitchen emerged at the end of the nineteenth century out of campaigns for sanitary and social reforms, the expansion of the suburban middle class, the growth of water, gas, and electric utilities, and the rise of the corporate food industry.”
The Bathroom and the Kitchen and the Aesthetics of Waste. (The Modern Kitchen, At Home in the Factory), Ellen Lupton and J. Abbott Miller, Princeton Architectural Press; 2nd edition, 1996.
The history of the “kitchen” as a room type, which grew from the domestic need to house activities related to consumption tells a precarious story of the making of the modern home and its components. It’s a narrative on the shifting place, relevance and creative development of the “kitchen” as the most technological, equipment-laden and gadget-dependent production and factory-like room of the home.
In the 1920’s, the German Frankfurt Kitchen became a symbol of the modernization, rationalization and proliferation of a new era in the history of kitchen design. Modern technology allowed progress to occur in the design of the kitchen, its fixtures and appliances. In the book “The Bathroom and the Kitchen and the Aesthetics of Waste,” by Ellen Lupton and J. Abbott Miller, they term the rise of the new kitchen design by the 1930’s as the continuous kitchen, “it merges architecture and furniture – once conceived as distinct, oppositional entities – into the new form of the fixture, a hybrid type borrowed from the modern bathroom. The continuous kitchen aspires to synthesize cabinets and equipment into a seamless, coordinated organism: sink, stove, and counter tops form a horizontal plane, paralleled by a second layer of wall cabinets. Like a modern factory, the continuous kitchen aims to enable an unbroken series of chores to pass through its sequence of specialized work stations.” And in post-war America, the rapid rise and competitiveness continued by manufacturers and advertisers to make newer and better large and small kitchen appliances to complement these new kitchen designs. It was a time that reflective a relentless need to romanticize and make housework seem easier for the homemaker.
Today, kitchens play an even greater social-cultural role as a modern status symbol. They are designed as open-ended yet highly specialized zones; the key social area in the house designed and staged as a “theater” for performance, exhibition and entertainment.