Why the Kitchen of Tomorrow is a Thing of the Past
Wednesday, February 24, 2021
1:30 PM-2:30 PM
The Art & Art History Department welcomes Sarah Archer for a talk on "Why the Kitchen of Tomorrow is a Thing of the Past."
Sarah Archer is an award-winning design and culture writer based in
Philadelphia, and the author of several books, including The
Midcentury Kitchen, Midcentury Christmas, and Catland: the Soft Power
of Cat Culture in Japan. She's a contributing writer at American Craft
Magazine, and her articles and reviews have appeared in The Atlantic,
The Cut, Architectural Digest, The New Yorker online, Curbed,
Metropolis, Bloomberg CityLab, and Slate, among other outlets. She
serves on the board of Collab at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and
helps edit its journal.
In the 1950s and '60s, designers made interiors, appliances, clothing and consumer products look like artifacts from the future by styling objects with Space Age aesthetics. Kitchens, with their newfound trophy status in the American middle class home, were one of the prime targets for the sort of daydreaming and forecasting that put meal prep and cleaning one step closer to "The Jetsons." The evolving design of the American kitchen—perhaps more than any other room in the house—tells a complex story of work, wealth, status and changes in the expectations attached to domestic work, gender and social class. Looking closely at the design choices, advertising and aesthetics of the midcentury kitchen, this talk will explain why "the future" was all the rage in mid-20th century America, and why we now see that kind of future-fixation as a thing of the past.
This free, virtual event is open to the Drexel community.