Sam Sifton is a celebrity in the world of cooking. He founded the NYT Cooking - New York Times, the culinary section of the online offer of the most famous US newspaper. And it was always him, in the midst of a pandemic crisis and a somewhat surreal election race, who suggested to his 600,000 subscribers and more than 31 million annual visitors: “If you are looking for glimpses of grace in this chaos, start from the kitchen”. Probably one of the best and most realistic advice ever given by a reporter in the past eighteen months. Incidentally, it is also likely that it was the most popular, judging by the success of the editorial content linked to recipes and gastronomic delights in impeccable new ethnic style, as is only done in Manhattan.
The food revolution
So everyone in the kitchen. But to cook what? It is not a rhetorical question, because the food industry is one of the most discussed and lively from the point of view of innovation and research. The theme is strictly polarized. On the one hand, the virtuous, those of “we are what we eat”. On the other hand, the evolutionists, those who "if we hadn't used the clubs to hunt we would still be on all fours". Both parties are right, also because only 20% of the people in the world live in this contradiction. The remaining 80% simply try to feed themselves and represent the real challenge of the food industry. Which in any case, even in the best of hypotheses, will not be able to guarantee sufficient resources to feed everyone. Technology and industry therefore join forces in the search for the holy food grail, in balance between food for astronauts and cultivated meat - decidedly very sustainable - and plant-based alternatives more suited to the taste buds and the common sense of food.
The house (and the kitchen) as fluid landscapes
All that remains is to go back and observe what happens in the kitchens today regarding the project and news. The design, as always, is the result of the spirit of the time and expresses the same multifunctional and vaguely contradictory passions of contemporary living. Vittore Niolu is the author of Formalia for Scavolini. It is not just a new kitchen, but a set of hybrid and hyper-functional elements to interpret any space in the house, from the office to the bathroom. The space is recomposed around the different functions thanks to their spatial promiscuity. The house is seen as a continuum, an open architecture that is aggregated around the furnishings. The open unit is also a bookcase, the table is a desk if necessary. Without losing the focus on the rationality of the essential elements in a traditional house. Formalia represents the cultural gap recently experienced by many people: the kitchen as the center of every activity adapts to the actions that are carried out every day in a home.
A sustainability that starts from the materials
Man-made materials, increasingly present, are the sign of research aimed at technological performance. The finishes play with production limits, look for formal virtuosity and custom made detail aimed at a hi-end market that expects a proposal inspired by manufacturing skills.
Boffi in 2021 pursues this strategy. The Sloane handle by Piero Lissoni it has an elongated rectangular shape and its compartment can be covered with different materials than the finish of the front, chosen to match the top or the edge of the door. Another proposal by Boffi, however, focused on artificial materials is the Combine Evolution kitchen with the monobloc in MDI by Inalco, a material made with a process that accelerates the natural lithogenetic cycle to create a mineral surface completely in the laboratory. A pragmatic alternative to natural materials and the possibility of greater control over finishes and cuts.
In the images, PostHome, a project created during the first lockdown by Claudia Campone, founder of the ThirtyOne Design studio. Smart, welcoming and stimulating, the Milanese apartment in a 1930s building in Città Studi was designed to meet the living, working (and even educational) needs related to the ‘new normal’.