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Proto-Ikea

Posted on by Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky, Austrian, 1897–2000, Frankfurt Kitchen, 1926–30, gift of funds from Regis Foundation

The Frankfurt Kitchen stands as the epitome of “scientific” organization for the domestic workspace. Following the First World War, Frankfurt, Germany, undertook an ambitious citywide housing project to shelter returning soldiers and war widows. Commissioned to design a kitchen prototype that upheld principles of rational organization, “Grete” Schütte-Lihotzky, one of Austria’s first female architects, analyzed the specific movements of homemakers to optimize function and minimize unnecessary steps. Versions of her designs were installed in 10,000 integrated housing units within a four- year period. The kitchen’s many innovations included cabinetry painted a steely blue believed to repel flies.

More at artsconnected.org

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