19 November 2020

Kitchen Power: National Parallels was an international online symposium on the 16th and 17th September 2020, which looked at the parallels and differences between mid-century modern kitchens in national contexts from Ireland to Spain, Scandinavia, Canada and South Korea.

The Kitchen Power exhibition in the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life in County Mayo, Ireland, looks at the promised lifestyle and everyday reality of rural electrification and the effect that it had on the lives of Irish women. This symposium brought together a selection of international academics in design, architecture and technology history to look at how issues surrounding domesticity, gender and technology played out in a wide range of national contexts. The papers look at the gendered nature of kitchen design, the consumption and promotion of electric appliances, the impact of rural electrification programmes, and the role of women’s organisations, as well as the different ways in which international ideas about ‘modern homes’ were implemented.

The symposium was convened by Dr Sorcha O’Brien (NCAD), co-curator of the Kitchen Power exhibition, and run in partnership between the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life and NCAD. It was also supported by a Design History Society Virtual Event Grant . The Kitchen Power exhibition was developed by the Museum in partnership with Kingston University and the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) , and with support from the ESB , Irish Farmer's Journal, Age & Opportunity , and GMIT Letterfrack.

The video recordings of the sessions of the conference can now be found in this link.


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