The contemporary fitted kitchen: object, space and sign

Costantino, Maria (2013) The contemporary fitted kitchen: object, space and sign. (MA(R) thesis), Kingston University, .


This thesis offers an examination of the contemporary kitchen firstly as an object that continues to draw on the forms established by the Modernists in the early 20th century. Using 'real' kitchens alongside contemporary media representations, it examines the signs of kitchens for their meaning along with a consideration of the contemporary kitchen as a physical space in relation to some of the prevailing ideas about, and attitudes towards, space in both the economic and cultural realms. The aim of the thesis is to reveal something of the cultural significance of the contemporary kitchen, not only as a reflection of the dominant ideologies of functionality and efficiency; of productive activity and as 'the heart of the home', but to propose that the contemporary kitchen is significant for its articulation through its appearance, size, materials (as well as in its fixed nature) of a much wider range of messages and meanings that may include, but are not limited to, the concepts of cultural capital, the spectacle, of gender identity and gender roles, as well as articulating our fears of impermanency, social alienation and even perhaps, homelessness.

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