Cooking, the heating, and preparation of food, is one of mankind’s oldest cultural techniques. Through cooking “nature” is transformed into “culture,” as the ethnologist Claude Lévi-Strauss explains in his 1964 study The Raw and the Cooked. Whereas in nature raw food becomes rotten, cooked food can be described as an achievement of human culture.

The place where meals are prepared and are often also stored is the kitchen. Most commonly found within people’s homes, the kitchen is invariably an expression of housing types and social structures.

The MAK DESIGN LAB’s display raises several questions:
What constitutes a kitchen? How much space should it take up? What belongs in a kitchen? Which pieces of furniture are essential? And: How mobile can a kitchen be?

Today, it is particularly simple and mobile solutions that attract attention. Analogies can be drawn between ovens from South East Asia and Africa, on loan from the Weltmuseum Wien, and new design ideas (the Sun and Ice GmbH’s solar cooker, Low Smoke Chulha Cooking Stove by Philips).

A mobile kitchen restaurant from Hanoi (Vietnam) and Mobile Hospitality by the designer duo chmara.rosinke show that catering does not have to be stationary and that cooking can bring people together. Cooking as a social event is increasingly inspiring design ideas that, as social design, go beyond the mere designing of objects.
Josef Hoffmann: credenza for the kitchen of Paul Wittgenstein’s country house “Bergerhöhe,” Vienna, 1899

Josef Hoffmann

credenza for the kitchen of Paul Wittgenstein’s country house “Bergerhöhe,” Vienna, 1899