What If Your Food Hired an Architect to Redesign Your Kitchen? Part 2: The Harvest Table What If Your Food Hired an Architect to Redesign Your Kitchen? Part 2: The Harvest Table
The GOOD Life

What If Your Food Hired an Architect to Redesign Your Kitchen? Part 2: The Harvest Table

by Nick Sowers

February 23, 2011

Unloading groceries sucks. First of all, I've usually already exhausted my limited stock of patience at the store. And the stuff in the bags is never organized. Running out of counter-space, putting food on the floor, tripping over the bags, having to reorganize the fridge in order to fit everything in—the list could go on and on. In short: There is little that is pleasurable about bringing food into the house.

In fact, the opposite should be true. Bringing food into the house should be a rewarding experience, like bringing in a harvest from the fields.


Another problem is solved by the "harvest table" being adjustable in height. Kitchens are typically composed of surfaces at about hip height, which are not necessarily ideal for looking down into the bottom of a grocery bag. Placing bags on the floor allow us to see what is in there, but is both ergonomically unsound and disrespectful to the food.


Meanwhile, seeing the harvest as a whole will increase our appreciation of the food. We may even imagine some creative dinners to assemble later in the week, finding inspiration in the connections between ingredients that would not be possible when everything is immediately stored out of sight in cupboards or the refrigerator.

After all, the real value in re-thinking this process is not to invent new products or new functional ways to "solve" these domestic inconveniences. There is an entire history of kitchen design in the 20th century which concerns itself with that line of inquiry. This series, instead, asks to take kitchen-space as a vehicle for exploring and augmenting the complex relationships we have formed with our food. The harvest table makes visible the act of bringing groceries into the kitchen, and in so doing, has the potential to reshape the way we store, cook, consume, and, ultimately, perceive food.

To be continued...

Nick Sowers is a Bay Area-based architect. Read more of his writing at his blog, Soundscrapers, and follow him on Twitter @soundscrapers.

All drawings by Nick Sowers; click on each image to enlarge it.
 

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What If Your Food Hired an Architect to Redesign Your Kitchen? Part 2: The Harvest Table