Feb 27, 2013

Just Fun :: the kitchen of tomorrow, um, yesterday...


Not surprisingly, given my profession, 
I spend a fair bit of time thinking about future-proofing buildings.
Trying to second-guess what social changes we will make,
which materials and technologies we will focus on,
and how our buildings should reflect our changing lifestyles.

So it's rather an eye-opener to take a step back,
to see how people of the mid 20th century imagined we would be living today.


Jaques Tati's absolutely corker of a satirical movie,
Mon Oncle
(which probably just happens to be my favourite movie of all time)
saw the kitchen of the future as a very white, extremely utilitarian and clinical
experimentation with multi-function.
A kitchen which is anything but user-friendly.


And Walter Cronkite's prediction of the kitchen of 2001 is a very scary place
of microwave conveyor belts and recycled dishes.
But not in a good way.

Both imagined a kitchen of gadgets,
where the machine was king. 

It's a far cry from our current penchant for adding & celebrating rustic elements in our kitchens.


Even in kitchens where food is never actually cooked, 
but simply heated and served,
there has been a trend for a long while to minimise the visual "noise" of appliances,
and I doubt that will disappear anytime soon.
The machine is no longer king, rather a pawn designed to quietly go about its job. 

But then, it's a dangerous practice to make radical predictions,
as we can see now, with the wisdom of hindsight! 

1/2/3/4

2 comments:

  1. What an interesting comparison and observation Virginia. Love that movie too and the last image is quintessential to the trend. Functional embraces Nostalgic, Modern hugs Rustic . Isn't it a beginning of a wonderful friendship to stay? Isn't it funny to look back at the predictions and smile?

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  2. So disappointed that i don't have a silent jet powered hovercraft vehicle yet! However the i-pad is pretty futuristic I think, and phones have come a long way! Last year I stayed at an apartment in Paris, and for the first time experienced the wonder that is the induction cooktop. Really made my old gas hotplates feel antiquated.

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