01 February 2011

Kitchen as Theater

It's not every day you find yourself standing in a tipi frame, eating a bowl of artisanal risotto that was ladled straight out of a cauldron, and quaffing a tumbler of prosecco.

One thing I especially like about European trade shows is that they engage the imagination more than their US counterparts, which tend to emphasize sheer, in-your-face, spectacle. Exhibit A: This installation at LivingKitchen, which was a collaboration between architect Matteo Thun, cabinet company Riva 1920 and the American Hardwood Export Council. 'La Cucina' is built from recycled red oak and walnut; like any typical kitchen, it includes a 'water place' [the wooden sink in the foreground, filled with apples], a 'fire place' [the tipi/cauldron construction] and a 'food place' [the prep and storage elements in the background]. It provided food for thought as much as for the body.

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