19 May 2014

the kitchen work triangle

Today's indexing included an article by Heidi Overhill in Design issues entitled "Apple pie proxemics: Edward T. Hall in the kitchen work triangle" (spring 2014 issue). Not only did I get to meet Mr Hall as the developer of the concept of proxemics (or "spatial behavior" as the AAT has it), I got to meet home economist Christine Frederick who lived from 1883 to 1970. The Wikipedia article on Frederick describes her as an American home economist and proponent of Taylorism as applied to the domestic sphere. Her NACO heading included only her birth date so I set upon revising the record to include her death date and other updating to RDA. As I was doing that, I was thinking about my grandmother who was also a home economist. They were near contemporaries and I wonder if they ever met.

I am now living in the house with the kitchen where she spent many an hour, throughout her life. The kitchen is not (now) particularly efficient, doesn't follow the work triangle theory, but then it's also not very large. I wonder if Gram was frustrated by the layout, and I am quite sure she would have been even more horrified by an enormous expenditure on renovation.

I have no idea how many times I was in the kitchen as a child, watching Gram wash the dishes with Great Aunt Dora sitting on the stool drying them. Oh, I probably helped with the dishes as a kid when we visited Gram but it was the two sisters in their regular positions that I vividly remember.

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