Nowhere more than in the kitchen is there such a delicate balancing act between design, style, technology, energy and waste. Kitchens need to be clean, efficient, welcoming and visually stunning. The fourth appointment devoted to the story of design as told by newsrooms all over the world focuses on all this and more.
Scouring the globe for architecture that challenges and inspires, The Architectural Review (AR) is an international magazine published in London since 1896. AR kicked off 2022 with a kitchen issue, looking at the space’s ambivalent state between labour and leisure, as the online editorial explains. “The kitchen is a contentious site – says Manon Mollard, the editor of AR - its scale and position in the home fluctuating as labour is redistributed and new efficiencies sought. In time and in space, its walls have been solidified and torn down, but in each iteration the kitchen and all its contents remain stubbornly fraught. From the revolutionary Frankfurt Kitchen to how cooking goes beyond domesticity in supporting collective resistance practices, the AR Kitchen issue looks at the ambivalent state of the kitchen, between labour and leisure, and dissects the forces of capital, technology and politics that breathe it into being.
Within the home, the kitchen is also the room subject to most renovations, driven by fashion cycles that are getting increasingly shorter. In European homes new kitchen furniture is purchased on average every 15 years, and sometimes within far shorter time frames, despite kitchens being built to last some 25 years; kitchen furniture amounts to a quarter of the 10 million tonnes of furniture discarded each year in the EU.
This June, the AR will be in Milan during the 2022 Salone del Mobile.Milano, hosting a public event titled ‘The architecture of waste: from the spoon to the city’ in partnership with Electrolux. Taking different sites as starting points - a kitchen cupboard, a recycling centre and an urban park – this panel discussion will look at ways to reduce waste and present ideas to encourage more reuse, recycling and repair in the spaces of everyday life. Waste needs to be made visible, and become a subject for discussion and debate”