Food for Thinkers: What if Your Food Hired an Architect to Redesign Your Kitchen?

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Food for Thinkers: What if Your Food Hired an Architect to Redesign Your Kitchen? Food for Thinkers: What if Your Food Hired an Architect to Redesign Your Kitchen?
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Food for Thinkers: What if Your Food Hired an Architect to Redesign Your Kitchen?

by Nicola Twilley

January 28, 2011


Just looking at a pair of recent advertisements from Pedini and Bulthaup (respectively, Italian and German kitchen design companies) provides an example of the need to re-examine the relationship between food and space. In the Pedini advertisement, the presence of food is mythologized by a giant poster of a cabbage behind a streamlined kitchen island. The Bulthaup ad prioritizes impossibly sharp white counter edges and the absence of handles and protrusions from cabinets and drawers. How can you not keep these counters perfectly clean and clear all the time? These kitchens would use you, rather than the other way around. Kitchens as a designed system are not selling based upon the complex interaction of people and food—they are selling based upon how sexy they look when food is minimally present.

What is the value in these kitchens-as-minimalist-fantasies? In my opinion, we should sacrifice this foodless aesthetic in favor of storing and presenting food in a way that tells a story about its larger connections, but also inspires pleasure and comfort in cooking. That could mean something as simple as redesigning the kitchen's air movements to amplify smells and sounds, making cooking into an even more immersive sensory experience.

So: how does an architect think about food? Obsessively, of course—but also conceptually, in terms of its relationship with space, and practically, by redesigning that space to enhance our relationship with food. And what does my kitchen of the future look like? You'll have to watch this space: Food for Thinkers has spawned a whole new design project...

Food for Thinkers
is a week-long, distributed, online conversation looking at food writing from as wide and unusual a variety of perspectives as possible. Between January 18 and January 23, 2011, more than 40 food and non-food writers will respond to a question posed by GOOD's newly-launched Food hub: What does—or could, or even should—it mean to write about food today?

Follow the conversation all week here at GOOD, join in the comments, and use the Twitter hashtag #foodforthinkers to keep up to date.

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