Herdanziehungskraft. Küche und kochen.
February 12, 2023 to February 11, 2024
Whether it's a revolutionary cell, a place for family councils or a fast food restaurant, whether it's a student flat share, a working class household or a design object - the kitchen is one of the most important rooms in the house. It not only offers space for storing and processing food, but is also an important social meeting point. The hearth is an essential means of heating the house and preparing food.
The interactive exhibition highlights the development from the fireplace to the Thermomix and focuses on technological, historical, social and cultural changes. From the energy-saving cooker to the stirrer to the "kitchen robot", there is a lot to discover about the kitchen and its use.
The first controlled use of fire by humans is thought to have occurred around 960,000 years ago. Open fire pits are fueled with rudimentary cooking techniques such as hot rocks, troughs, and earth pits. Over the centuries, this has developed into fixed fireplaces or hearths. The modern term "herd" is derived from the Old High German "hert" and means something like "the burning one" or "the glowing one".
In the 19th century, the influence of industrialization also changed the kitchen. Open fireplaces are disappearing, giving way to more modern, smoke-free alternatives. So-called economy stoves or kitchen witches – metal stoves fired with firewood – ensure even heat distribution and faster food preparation. They are equipped with additional elements such as bean roasters, ovens and water ships. It was not until the middle of the 20th century that they were finally replaced by electric and gas-powered models.
With the economic upswing of the post-war period, the kitchen also experienced an unmistakable further development. Fitted kitchens, Thermomix and ceramic hobs are becoming status symbols, and the kitchen is an important venue for celebrations. Especially in student circles, the "kitchen party" is becoming a dictum.
But this is not the end of the history of the kitchen. Lifestyle and eating habits continue to change, sustainability, mechanization and costs play an increasingly important role. So how will we cook in the future? How will we feed ourselves? And will the hearth's appeal remain unbroken?