Counter Space: Design and the Modern Kitchen

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Over the course of the past century, the kitchen, more than any other room in the modern dwelling, has been the focus of intensive aesthetic and technological innovation. Historically, European and American kitchens were often drab, poorly ventilated, and hidden from view in a basement or annexe. Towards the end of the 19th century, however, the kitchen became a central concern of modernism and a testing ground for new materials and technologies. Since then, the room has come to articulate and at times actively challenge societys relationships to food, consumerism, the domestic role of women, and even international politics. Counter Space examines the 20th-century transformation of the kitchen through the collection of The Museum of Modern Art, featuring a wide variety of design objects, architectural plans, posters, archival photographs and artworks ranging from the iconic Frankfurt Kitchen, massproduced for German public housing estates in the aftermath ofWorldWar I, to an electric kettle, heat-resistant glassware and colourful plastics. With an introductory essay by Juliet Kinchin, this volume is a lively introduction to the kitchen as a barometer of changing technology, aesthetics and ideology.