During the twentieth century the project of the house was often offered as "utopia" - an ideal or real place, in the latter case to be perfected -, while cogency developed it as "heterotopia" - taking up the terms founded by Michel Foucault (1967) - within the family institution and society: a "counter-place" or a sort of realized utopia. Crossing the literary sources of manuals and specialized texts with some housing projects, realized or not, and keeping in mind the historical analysis of gender roles (Scott 1986), it is possible to read the domestic space as a heterotopic place. In particular, the critical eye focuses on the kitchen environment as the central mise-en-scène of human existence, not only because it is dedicated to food subsistence, but because it is a repeated object of experimentation, in which moralizing norms, scientific innovations, gender stereotypes have been reversed. If the kitchen tells the story of humanity, the attention that designers and reformers have dedicated to it recounts its political and social importance in a period of transformation, in which the desired and imagined utopia is often resolved in counter-utopia. Like the collective spaces investigated by Foucault, it is therefore possible to reflect on the evolution of the domestic project, through the "piece" of its kitchen, as a strategic device, ordering and disciplining, of private life.

The domestic kitchen, between utopias and heterotopias of the 20th century

I. Forino
2020-01-01

Abstract

During the twentieth century the project of the house was often offered as "utopia" - an ideal or real place, in the latter case to be perfected -, while cogency developed it as "heterotopia" - taking up the terms founded by Michel Foucault (1967) - within the family institution and society: a "counter-place" or a sort of realized utopia. Crossing the literary sources of manuals and specialized texts with some housing projects, realized or not, and keeping in mind the historical analysis of gender roles (Scott 1986), it is possible to read the domestic space as a heterotopic place. In particular, the critical eye focuses on the kitchen environment as the central mise-en-scène of human existence, not only because it is dedicated to food subsistence, but because it is a repeated object of experimentation, in which moralizing norms, scientific innovations, gender stereotypes have been reversed. If the kitchen tells the story of humanity, the attention that designers and reformers have dedicated to it recounts its political and social importance in a period of transformation, in which the desired and imagined utopia is often resolved in counter-utopia. Like the collective spaces investigated by Foucault, it is therefore possible to reflect on the evolution of the domestic project, through the "piece" of its kitchen, as a strategic device, ordering and disciplining, of private life.
Kitchen design
Interior Design
kitchen
Michel Foucault
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/1146958
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