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. 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?

  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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