Kitchen Past Future Perfect 2011 RAvni

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Kitchen Past Future Perfect 2011 RAvni

  1. 1. THINKTANK VIIIKitchen Past Future Perfectby Robin AvniOh, my, what a perfect kitchen can beget.It seems there has always been a great deal of creative synergy between the design of theautomotive industrys concept cars and the futuristic kitchen concepts of the appliance companies.Both industries offer similar forward-thinking promises to their potential customers: New, sleek andstreamlined product design plus bold advances in technology will eliminate the burdens of chore-related activities and enhance the overall user experience. Theres even a shared fascination andcomparison of American models vs. European models. Is it any wonder that in 1956 the now-classicpromotional film called "Design for Dreaming" combined the two dream worlds into one Technicolorromp as a well-turned-out lady takes a romantic musical adventure to the General Motors Motoramaand Frigidares Kitchen of the Future and finds the man of her dreams?Hotlink: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNZHWwGhQOwHowever, its more than post-World War II creative concepts that offer insights into the developmentof some current kitchen design thinking. A little trip down memory lane, peppered with a bit ofhistorical reference, can actually reveal how many of todays future kitchen concepts are rooted inthe common sense designs as well as the futuristic predictions of kitchens past.Or, as former House Beautiful editor and American industrial design pioneer Sara Little Turnbull wasfond of saying to her students at the Process of Change, Innovation and Design Laboratory atStanford: "In order to anticipate the future, one must have some understanding of the past."KEY THEMES  Space and LIfe Savers: Kitchen efficiences created a world of new possibilities for women  The Farm Kitchen: The kitchen has come full circle from where it began  Techs Touch in the Kitchen: The kitchen is consistently, over time, the center for tech advancement in the homeRELATED REPORTSKitchen and Bath: Redefining the American RemodelModern Country Kitchen: Trend AnalysisCompact Kitchen: Trend Analysis© ROBIN AVNI
  2. 2. -----------------------------Space and Life SaversOver the years, one of the key motivators for kitchen future concepts has been the goal of increasingefficiencies and relieving the drudgery of kitchen tasks. It wasnt just a male mechanical fantasy thathelped improve circumstances. Early American female home economists such as Catharine andHarriet Beecher Stowe who wrote the 1869 book The American Womens Home had a profoundinfluence on the layout and design of the modern kitchen including the formation of the kitchentriangle (sink, refrigerator, stove). And, female German architect Margarete Schutte-Lihotzky designof the revolutionary Frankfurt Kitchen after World War I contained an ergonomically designed spacewith an integrated approach to storage, appliances and work surfaces. Today, that kitchen stillserves at the model for streamlined efficiency.Schutte-Lihotzkys concepts and other kitchen innovators designs are showcased at the Museum ofModern Arts current exhibit entitled: Counter Space: Design and the Modern Kitchen through March14, 2011.This simple idea of "saving steps" literally became more of a life saver as women spent less time onmundane tasks and were able to take more time to find self-fulfillment -- as they were no longer tiedto the kitchen by their apron strings.QUOTE: "The many-splendored thing that is the modern kitchen — as a coherent workspace, object of studyand model of efficiency — began to take shape sometime around 1900. It has been a leading indicator of thestate of design ever since." Roberta Smith, The Heart That Beats, Heats, Chills and Whips, New York Times,September 19, 2010.QUOTE: "The exhibit also displayed utilitarian products used then and how they have and have not changedalmost decades later. I think that is what struck me most about this exhibit. Fundamentally, little has changed.It was fascinating to see stockpots, whisks, colanders, and small appliances that at first glance I thought werecontemporary only to realize they were 1940s originals." Matthew Quinn, Principal and Kitchen Designer,From "Design for Dreaming" promotional film (32_jpg_rendition_medium) Circle Kitchen by Compact Concepts© ROBIN AVNI
  3. 3. © Museum of Modern Art A reconstruction of the Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky Frankfurt kitchen from theGinnheim-Höhenblick Housing Estate, Frankfurt am Main, GermanyDisappearing appliances concepts existed early on in this model kitchen from Libby-Owens-Ford Glass CompanyKitchen of Tomorrow pictured in LIFE magazine 1943Kitchen Storage Pot 1923 from the MoMA exhibit Staub graphite round dutch over 2010© ROBIN AVNI
  4. 4. The disappearing kitchen reappears with the 2010 Grandma’s Revenge concept kitchen by MelanieOlle and Ilja Oelschlägel, as seen at www.designboom.comLEFT: 1968 Italian designer Virgilio Forchiassin collapsible mobile kitchen unit from the MoMA exhibitRIGHT: Student project 2010 entitled Come Together by Albrecht Seeger and Martin Klinke from designboom.com A U-shaped kitchen developed by the housing staff of the Bureau of Human Nutrition and Home Economics of the United States in 1949 url: http://www.archive.org/details/StepSavi1949© ROBIN AVNI
  5. 5. The Farm KitchenIn an odd, and interesting way, even as the kitchen has morphed to accommodate the changinglifestyle of our modern times -- including center islands and open floor plans -- it has actuallybecome closer and closer to the hearth room layout in the early American household. Back thenfood prep, serving, entertaining, clean-up all occurred in one big open room. It was the emergenceof a servant class intersecting with button-up attitudes about smells and cleanliness that put upthose kitchen walls. And, it was the technological advances that freed a housewife from the drudgerythat brought those same walls back down as she entered the workforce.What still remains, however, is a deep attachment to the kitchen sentiment of togetherness, warmthand what makes home, well, home. The continued popularity of the farm kitchen is one of the mostcommon executions of this ideal. The recent Great Recession fueled the hearth flame even more ascanning and baking have become creative expression, demonstration of love and a symbol of securityall rolled into one crème-filled cupcake. As Americans work their way out of these tough times,consumers will continue to find solace in the kitchen and define it as the heart of the household.QUOTE: "The kitchen has undergone tremendous changes since Abigail Adams days. In one back-to-the-futurerespect, however, the new super kitchen resembles her old hearth-centered one. Some two hundred yearslater, the kitchen is once again often the homes busiest room, used not just for cooking -- or microwaving --and eating but also for catching up on the day, paying the bills, and getting help with the homework." WinifredGallagher, House Thinking, HarperCollins Publishers (2006).QUOTE: "Yet as likely as we are to fill our kitchens with efficient production machinery, we also hold on to thevestiges of old-time kitchens, to cozy symbols of nostalgia. ... For every Sub-Zero refrigerator, there is anantique apothecary chest; for every restaurant-grad mixer, a Shaker box." Akiko Busch, Geography of a Home,Princeton Architectural Press (1999).RIGHT: An early efficiency solution, the Hoosier cabinet was filled with labor and time-savingconveniences and was one of the earliest design innovations in the modern kitchen.© ROBIN AVNI
  6. 6. LEFT: Martha Stewarts new kitchen line for Home Depot pays homage to the ideal of the farmkitchen and the design lines of the Hoosier cabinet.Pottery Barn Thanksgiving Farm Table from potterybarn.comWGSN ti092227_03.jpg.download Kitchen interior© ROBIN AVNI
  7. 7. The Farm Project, Mike Meiré for Dornbracht from inhabitat.com-----------------------------Techs Touch in the KitchenJust as our mothers and grandmothers faced the wonder, confusion, convenience of the icebox,todays kitchen consumer copes with a dizzying array of buttons and knobs and WiFi frequencies thatmake up the modern kitchen. The post-World War II domestic boom in America brought innovationssuch as the microwave, the automatic coffeemaker, dishwashers and refrigerator/freezer combos.Today, advances in technology continue to find an easy entry point through the kitchen door. In2007, The CABA Digital Kitchen Study from the Internet Home Alliance found that consumers wantedsuch items as a recipe projection system, digital calendar, energy usage monitor and controls, auniversal charging station for devices enabling the kitchen to be a control center not anentertainment center.Most of the above requests have already come to pass as we now move on to 3-D food printersfighting for counter space with the Panini press and food processor. Jane Jetsons punch card menudoesnt seem all that far from becoming reality.QUOTE: " Electronically controlled cabinets slid down to easy reach with the wave of the hand, and cabinetdoors pop open by light pressure on the front panel. A new appliance provides a choice of cold water, icecubes, or crushed ice. For easy reading, recipes are flashed onto a screen when they are placed in aphotographic viewer. The sink provides water at any temperature from a single faucet. An electronic oven risesat the press of a button, bakes potatoes in five minutes, or roasts a turkey in 45. Even the flour-sifter is motor-driven.” Kitchen Comeback by, Time Magazine, February 1, 1954.© ROBIN AVNI
  8. 8. From "Design for Dreaming" promotional film The Jetsons © Hanna BarberaIKEAs 2040 Kitchen Study with The Future Laboratory call "SKARP" included mood-adjusting kitchenware,remote-controlled cooker and 3-D interactive TV screens on the refrigerator from treehugger.comCABA: Kitchen as Command Central KBIS.com Digitalfabricator2 3-D food printer from MIT© ROBIN AVNI
  9. 9. Whirlpools Kitchen of the Future with computer station from www.Davidszondy.comGE Kitchen of the Future with touchscreens from GEconsumerproducts.com videoMixed reality kitchen table future experience from Smashinmagazine.com© ROBIN AVNI

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