Counter Space: Design and the Modern Kitchen addresses the role of the kitchen in 20th-century life. But what does modern design mean if you don’t have a kitchen? If you live, say, alone in a wagon in the Nevada desert? Or you reside in your taxicab, and you want Brazilian food that reminds you of home?
Posts tagged ‘Counter Space: Design and the Modern Kitchen’
Grete Schütte-Lihotzky’s 1926–27 Frankfurt Kitchen incorporated socialist ideology into its efficient design. But it assumed a private kitchen. During a brief period shortly afterwards, idealistic Soviet architects took the idea one step further, experimenting with communal kitchens.
“You have one minute. Grab a piece of scrap paper and draw a house.” And with that simple direction, Professor Jennifer Gray began MoMA’s continuing education class, Dwell: Histories of Modern Housing.
I frantically drew, erased, and redrew my house, wondering what the other students were conjuring up and scribbling down. I was curious if the drawings would be as different as the classmates, who ranged from a Czech woman to a Brooklyn architect to a retired empty-nester to me, an art director at an advertising agency. They weren’t. And that was exactly the point of this seemingly rudimentary exercise.
As video-streaming technology becomes more ubiquitous, we’ve been antsy to try a walkthrough of an exhibition at MoMA. Department of Architecture and Design curator Juliet Kinchin and curatorial assistant Aidan O’Connor have been brave enough to be the first.
Several exciting things are happening now in the world of Counter Space—time for an update!
It’s 1926 and, like Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky, you want to design a functional kitchen. If you’re in the U.S. or Great Britain, you might then turn to a standards manual. At the time, there was Radford’s Details of Building Construction (1911). Then, five years after Schütte-Lihotzky’s Frankfurt Kitchen, two underemployed architects created an expanded manual more suited to 20th-century life. Their Architectural Graphic Standards (1932) has been continuously revised ever since.
After viewing the exhibition Counter Space: Design and the Modern Kitchen, our team at MoMA was inspired by the Frankfurt Kitchen’s impact on our modern-day experiences of preparing and sharing food in our homes.
Here is a slideshow of photos from our hit Counter Space public program, Kitchen Culture. Over 100 people joined us for an incredible dinner in October, inspired by a 1925 German cookbook and prepared by Executive Chef Lynn Bound and the Cafe 2 team.
Everyone likes rabbits. Their fluffy tails. Their twitchy noses. From Peter Rabbit to Roger Rabbit, Bugs Bunny to the Easter Bunny, Watership Down to David Lynch’s surreal 2002 series Rabbits, the creatures have been anthropomorphized constantly in literature, film, and popular culture. Because they are so widely appealing, we feel extremely uncomfortable when we see rabbits encounter cooking pots, like in Bill Forsyth’s Local Hero, or at the hands of Glenn Close as manic bunny boiler in Fatal Attraction. Small wonder then that during World War II the British Government had to persuade reluctant consumers about the nutritional and money-saving benefits of raising rabbits for food.
There’s always been a clock in my kitchen. I can’t imagine otherwise. I bet there’s been one in yours too. I’m not talking about the digital ones on the coffee maker, stove, microwave, etc. that I don’t even bother to set—I’m talking about the clock that’s been in charge of keeping time everywhere I’ve ever lived—my kitchen clock.
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