Women’s Gender Identities and Modern Kitchen Design from 1920-1970

By Zhang Li.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This article examines the relationship between kitchen design and women, to
be more specific, women’s gender identities. The kitchen is one of most
gendered spaces whose history represents the history of women and
transformation of their identities in a vivid way. From a sociocultural
perspective of kitchen design, which mainly focus on key design features such
as compact layout, open-up space and electrification of kitchen, I seek to
track the changes of women’s identities and to figure out how the
developments of kitchen design influenced women, including their lives,
experience, as well as the sense of being. Has the modern kitchen design
really set women free from the way the designer planned, or on the contrary,
just constrained them with a fashionable model packaged as the modernism
design myth?

Keywords: Modern Kitchen Design, Women’s Identities, Gender

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp.271-282. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1012.946KB).

Dr. Zhang Li

Visiting Student Ph.D Researcher from the University of California-Berkeley, Academy of Design and Arts, Tsinghua Universtity, China and UC Berkeley, Berkeley, California, USA

Li Zhang is a Ph.d candidate in major of design history in Academy of Design and Arts, Tsinghua University, China; Currently she is visiting at Department of Gender and Women’s Studies, UC Berkeley, USA. Gender issues in design history and theory with cultural studies and feminist ideas are the intended themes in her thesis for ph.d degree. She has earned The Resident Graduate Scholarship (RGS) in Feb, 2010, granted by David C. Lam Institute for East-West Studies in Hong Kong Baptist University, and published her project thesis: “Focus on Body: Women’s Identities and Space Design.” She is translator of Design Classics (Beijing: CABP, 2010), Modern Interior Design (co-translator, Chongqing: Chongqing University Press, 2010) and The Idea of Design: A Design Issues Reader (in process, will be published by Beijing: China Architecture & Building Press in 2011). She has also issued more than 10 articles in Chinese on feminist design, consumer culture, fashion and body-identity. Gender, body and identity issues concerning design history and theory are the present interests to her research.

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