All posts by Rob

MOMA: Design & the Modern Kitchen

“The cost of bringing the Absolute into the kitchen is to soil it. The pretensions of Good Design require us to bring the noblest concepts of the humanistic tradition into direct confrontation with scrambled egg and soiled nappies… The big white abstractions must be devalued, ultimately, by these associations with dirt and muck and domestic grottitude.” – Reyner Banham, “Household Godjets,” 1970

This quote adorned the wall at Counter Space: Design and the Modern Kitchen at New York City’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). It speaks to a universal truth about the most thoughtfully designed room in the modern household — that the most successful and pristine design fosters the making of messes. I just love this.

Maureen and I ventured to MoMA specifically to see this exhibit, which is a celebration of the influences and factors of kitchen design in the modern age – not just technology advances and new gadgets and labour-saving devices, but the changing purpose of the room, from work room, to spartanly functional “housewives'” haven, to modern social nerve centre.

 

I liked these for some reason…
…can’t put my finger on it.

Because it was MoMA, there were paintings, photography and sculpture that were kitchen-themed, in addition to the samples of kitchenware, gadgets and even fully functional kitchens from post world-war 1 Germany and early-60’s Italy.

The 1920’s German Kitchen of the future.
Utilitarian but highly functional and complete

 

Semi-automatic. Hah!
Italian-designed portable kitchen.

It was a little troubling, but also kind of fun to see relics from a different age and reminisce. “Hey, remember those, we had those when we were a kid!” Noticeably absent: Chip-and-dips, and avocado green fondue sets. It does remind of us of the incredible social, cultural and familial connection we make to our kitchen, our parent’s kitchen (maybe even our grandparents’ kitchen) and its power as a memory maker and daily tribute to form and function.

Kitchen clock with timer built in
Tupperware! We had all this as kids.

Most of these pictures are self explanatory. But when you look at them, experience the design elements and then look at your own kitchen and marvel.

 

Happy Mouth 2.0!

Welcome to our new home on the web. We’ve changed blog platforms so we can take Happy Mouth to more people and have more flexibility with our content. We’re sorry for our absence, but good things come…and all that.

We wanted to hit the ground running so we’ve already published several new postings for you to catch up on. We hope to maintain our usual pace of one or two new postings every week.

Our original blog site is still up and available at the link on the right.

Be sure to check us out on Facebook and Twitter. We’ll alert you to new postings there.

Check out our new postings on our recent trip to Miami Beach and a new family favourite recipe.

Upcoming: new recipes and our upcoming  trip to New York City.

– Rob and Maureen