Evolution of the Kitchen
The basic kitchen came into existence the moment ancient humans discovered fire and its use in turning the food more palatable, easy to eat and softer to digest. The prototype of the modern kitchen at that time was an open bon fire on which meat was roasted.
Later as the man started to settle down, turning a food producer instead of a food gatherer as before, relative uses of fire other than just roasting meat and for protection emerged. Eventually diverse uses of fire were discovered, which made having a dedicated place for all the related activities to cooking imperative upon the ancient tribes. Thus originated the basic form of modern kitchen.
The basic structure of kitchen remained more or less the same till the discovery of the cooking stove and gas in 18th century. Another factor that contributed to the kitchen being more organised was the beginning of the use of the water pipes, supplying regular water to the kitchens. Before that kitchen was rarely a closed space like we have today, in order to restrict the ensuing smoke from entering the living areas.
By Middle Ages, the kitchen got segregated into the kitchen of the rich and the kitchen of the poor. Poor people turned a corner of their living area into an elementary kitchen due to lack of space. Rich had an elaborate separate building used as the kitchen, which enclosed the living area for the servants – usually the slaves – working there as well.
In the wake of industrial revolution- 18th Century – came a number of related inventions, and the face of the kitchen was transformed like never before. Taylors famous time and work analysis entered the kitchen as well.
The designs of a optimal kitchen began to be suggested based on these studies. These studies were majorly based on, and for the cities socio economic structures. Rural kitchens were still based on old model.
Women started working in the newly established factories for sustaining their families at home . The social housing concept was born out of the needs of the newly emerged working class. The entire paraphernalia of the kitchen was to be contained in the smallest possible space of the already dwindling houses of the middle class.
Work and time studies came up with rationalised kitchens , where the three major functions – Storing , cooking and sink – were placed in different combinations with each other, for working out the best possible fit.
Early 20th Century saw the extensive use of gas and electric stoves. The large scale laying of the gas and water pipes, covering almost the entire urban populations across the globe. This boosted the convenience of working in the kitchen, and the convenient mind began gadgetising all the functions left hitherto untouched.
Modern kitchen is a high-tech zone of the house, where gadgets laced with artificial intelligence are substituting humans in many of the areas. An ever increasing number of options is available related every aspect of cooking. The idea of designer kitchens is already on the hit list of the status conscious rich. All the activities constituting a kitchen have been delegated to the appliances , which are proving to be better substitutes for humans.