Infrastructural Care

December 12, 2018

Task 7 drawing

Drawing kitchens with care

“Care obliges us to constant fostering, not only because it is in its very nature to be about mundane maintenance and repair, but because a world’s degree of liveability might well depend on the caring accomplished within it.”

Maria Puig de la Bellacasa, 2012,
‘Nothing comes without its world: thinking with care’

When drawing kitchens (or anything else) we as architects could benefit from thinking more on the life and care that will inhabit this space, how its’ boundaries can be restricting, but also freeing. By going beyond our specific design ideas, material combinations, economic rationalizations and imagining how our drawn environments will be used, not used, maintained and taken care it can make all the difference between a well functioning kitchen, and a not so well functioning.

There is a danger when we try to push design solutions uncritically . As discussed in the previous segment on Infrastructural Maintenance, my small kitchen may have all that a kitchen needs, and save space in the apartment for other things, but it also imposes a restrictive use on the functionality of a kitchen and therefore also the life associated with it. For example a dinner party or entertaining guests in the “extra space” created by the small kitchen is a logistical nightmare.

Architecture and architects are always subject to priority and compromise in the effort to create spaces and ideas, but one should always try to base those decisions on information, experience and care for the inhabitants and caretakers of them. The ideas of care in architecture may not always be visible in a drawn plan, but small details can make a big difference on the continuous fostering of the built enviorment. Showing care in architecture is the way to evoke the same feeling in those that will use and preserve it.

For a kitchen this might mean taking in to consideration how we use them, who uses them and why they are organized in a certain way. We may not have all the answers and won’t make everybody happy with a solution, but taking the time to add small tweaks to a standard solution and provide something extra shows that we do care, and that so should the user. Architecture does not survive solely on its’ ideas, extra resilient materials or impeccable building techniques, but in the care and love that it can evoke in its users.

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