In reserve – housekeeping, discourses, positions and practices

Historic Models and Contemporary Positions from the Bauhaus, Edition Bauhaus 49

‘How are we to live in a way that is healthy and economical?’ One answer to this question was provided by Ernst Jahn’s film of the same name ‘Wie wohnen wir gesund und wirtschaftlich?’ (1926–28), which showed the kitchen in the Gropius House complete with all the latest domestic appliances it was equipped with. The Dessau Masters’ Houses were not only showcases of ‘new living’ (Neues Wohnen) but also places where modern methods of housekeeping could be demonstrated. The topical relevance of this question was discussed at the 2015 Haushaltsmesse, an international trade fair on the art of housekeeping and budgeting. The publication ‘In Reserve: The Household!’, which takes a documentary approach to this subject, now brings together these different viewpoints eyeing the question through the prism of the problems we face today. In the face of climate change and dwindling resources, the externalized costs of running a modern household are back on the (kitchen) table. The book is a compilation of essays by internationally renowned anthropologists, economists, artists, architects, historians, and cultural studies experts and also contains a wealth of historical documents and photographs.

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