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.
Posts tagged ‘Frankfurt Kitchen’
“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.
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.
In our last post, we highlighted the larger-than-life lady at the entrance to the Counter Space gallery. Now we’d like to give some background on the music video on the opposite side of the entrance. Juliet and I came across the music video for Robert Rotifer’s “The Frankfurt Kitchen” (2008) early in our research and were thrilled to make contact with the artist, who incidentally will be coming to perform the song at our public program Kitchen Culture on October 28.
Now to Rotifer in his own words…
Hello, Juliet and Aidan here. We’ll be posting here regularly to share behind-the-scenes stories and to expand on themes and objects explored in the Counter Space exhibition, as well as to feature some bits that did not make the final cut.
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