Invisible fridges and cooling cubbies: how kitchens have been designed for the rich

‘The history of kitchen cabinets and the appliances tucked in snugly between them is not pretty or seamless – and it’s still stewing.’ Photograph: Artem Perevozchikov/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Meg Conley, creator of homeculture, writes about the history of kitchen design and how that impacts the life and work of women for The Guardian.

“White communists, white socialists, white feminists, white capitalists and white supremacists were all hoping to engineer whole societies by designing the kitchen. Each saw kitchens as permanently fitted with women – they just disagreed over what that meant. All kept the footprint of patriarchal understanding and most anchored deep into racist foundations. None of their blueprints made room for the meaning of the work in the kitchen. Forget the meaning, they could hardly be bothered with the function.

It’s time to design the kitchen for the world we’ve engineered. Women have traditionally cooked in the kitchen. But they’ve wept and screamed there too. What work surface will bear our scratches best? Is there a line of cabinets deep enough to hold our grief?”

Read the entire post at The Guardian.

Katie Ludlow Rich

Katie Ludlow Rich is a writer and independent scholar focused on 19th and 20th-century Mormon women's history.

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