By Iryna Kiribayeva and Briana Y. Earl
The 1950s were a booming time in which new-age ideas were forming and taking place. After World War II and rationing, people wanted new lives, new ideas, and more importantly new things. This was especially true in the home. Wanting to show elevated social economic status, homes were built with white picket fences, a green front lawn, and spectacular kitchens. With the start of the space age, people were merging domestic life with scientific advancement. Technological developments like thermoelectric cooling advanced refrigerators to be more accessible in the home. Architect H.F. Koeper, of the University of Minnesota, eloquently summed up the relationship by stating, “The house of the future will be more a matter of ‘what the public will ask for, rather than what science will provide, although the latter would be more startling.”
So what were the technological advancements in the 1950s that helped people cook smart? Some of the more “far-out” ideas were tacked onto technology that was functional and very useful. The main products that were developed to help people cool smart were the refrigerator, microwave, stove/oven, and kitchen gadgets designed to improve the way people lived and cooked.
Marketed to housewives and homemakers, the “Kitchen of Future” was designed to help housewives commander their households.
Kitchens have undergone many developments in the past 50 years. Kitchens of the 1950s incorporated new appliances that were considered luxuries for many families. New-age home appliances were marketed towards housewives in the burgeoning middle class. A “show piece” of the home, new appliances were considered to be a point of pride for many families.
A Montreal Gazette article from 1970 imagined the future kitchen as part cooking hub, part cockpit: “The housewife no longer will have to pace between shelves, stove and sink, but will sit comfortably in a swivel chair… She is surrounded by control buttons, television monitors, and cooking equipment.”
In the mid-1980s, technology continued to shape the greater domestic whole. Companies started using the “smart” prefix, and the concept of integrated homes really began to grow.
In “There Will Come Soft Rains,” writer Ray Bradbury wrote about smart homes and home automation where homes were interactive and ran themselves.
Kitchen innovations of today incorporate aesthetics and functionality. No longer considered just a woman’s space, home designer Nate Berkus describes the kitchen as the “hardest working room in every house.” Integrating necessity with technology, last year GE introduced a wall oven with a mobile app that allowed owners to preheat the oven, set the time and check cooking status, all from the convenience of their mobile phone.
Kitchens of the future will enable people to control everything remotely and seamlessly to spend less time shopping and cooking and more time enjoying life. Kitchens of the future will be controlled by smart phones that interact with appliances for control.
SMART COOKING IN MY FUTURE KITCHEN… LAZY SUNDAYS
The alarm on our smartphone will wake us up and with the press of a button coffee will be ready. And not just a cup of plain cup of coffee, the kind that you order at Starbucks – a double shot skinny vanilla latte with soy. But what about breakfast? Still in bed, you check your app to see what your refrigerator suggests. After it does inventory, your refrigerator suggests bacon and eggs. Then, with a press of a button on your phone, you preheat your oven and your cook top readies the perfect temperature for your eggs. All this, and you haven’t left the bed yet.
After finally getting out of bed, you make your way into the kitchen. Fresh orange juice is selected on your faucet, and you make your breakfast on our interactive touchscreen cooktop. While you’re making breakfast, you get a call from your Mom that you answer on your countertop and she reminds you that she and your aunt are coming over for dinner later that day. When you ask what you should eat for dinner, she says she wants her favorite: consomme’ with beef wellington and a chocolate soufflé. After you finish breakfast, you place your dishes in the sink and select wash. Your in-sink dishwasher quietly cleans your dishes in the sink, ensuring full-clean capabilities in removing food from the dishes. No more spots on your glasses!
Now with a big dinner to prepare, you open your app to find mom’s favorite recipes. You select the recipe and the number of guests, and order the ingredients list needed. Thirty minutes later, you receive your complete grocery list for your dinner party. Now, you just need your virtual chef to help you make it. Using laser hologram technology, Global Chef will walk you through the steps to making the perfect soufflé, cooking side by side with your virtual instructor.
Smart cooking in the future will balance healthy and dietary needs with human wants and desires to help us live fuller and richer lives. Smart cooking appliances will help us experience quality food in our home.