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Tradition and Modernity in the Domestic Urban Kitchen Design in Uganda: A case of Kampala
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Urban Planning and Environment, Urban and Regional Studies.
2013 (English)Licentiate thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis studies the design of modern domestic urban kitchens in Uganda. The research took place in Kampala, which is the capital city of Uganda. The cultural make up of Kampala residents is diverse; people come from all over the country of Uganda, as well as beyond. The fieldwork involved investigating daily practices taking place in the domestic urban kitchens of the middle income group. This has been done in order to find out the problems found in using the kitchens so that better designs may be suggested. The thesis addresses mostly, professionals such as architects, who are involved with planning and designing housing, specifically kitchens within them. This work can as well be useful to another country with a similar context to Uganda. It is worth mentioning that kitchen studies started to take place in developed countries about one hundred years ago, yet, they have never been initiated in Uganda, until this moment. The thesis indicates that a kitchen is an important part in a home, which is a busy area, thus demanding a lot of attention in order to be able to get the needed design requirements. While the findings of the thesis are based on the contemporary urban life in Uganda, it is not known what the future will hold; so suggestions are made to benefit contemporary needs.

Practices in the urban kitchen have been investigated within the conceptual framework of tradition, modernity, culture and identity in connection with the kitchen designs in place. The research has been motivated by contradictions appearing to take place between modern kitchen designs and the actual practices taking place in them. Generally, the evolution of the kitchen design in some of the developed nations followed the trend parallel to developments in lifestyles, industrialization or women’s emancipation. Kitchen studies made in developing nations have investigated the particular contexts within those nations. So this thesis fills the knowledge gap which exists, as such studies are nonexistent within the Ugandan context.

The study is qualitative by engaging the case study methodology. Here, the case is the interaction between the household, the kitchen design, the activities in the kitchen and the house type in place. Interviews have been conducted with household members in the studied cases, as well as with key informants. The main areas of study have been the way food is prepared, cooked and stored in an urban kitchen, and how these activities take place in a mixed situation of tradition and modernity. Seven cases in total have been investigated. The results indicate disharmony between the designs in place and the activities that take place in them. People have to negotiate and reinterpret spaces in their kitchens and around them in order to meet their needs.

Some of the most important outcomes from this research is not to let modernity be disruptive but rather to allow the change from tradition be gradual. The thesis endeavors to blend the two phenomena of tradition and modernity so as to create a balance in design and end with better functioning kitchens. One example of such is shown for a one family house on a plot.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2013. , vi, 144 p.
TRITA-SOM, ISSN 1653-6126 ; 2013:17
Keyword [en]
tradition, modernity, culture, identity, domestic urban kitchen design
National Category
Building Technologies Architectural Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-140340ISBN: 978-91-7501-985-7OAI: diva2:689750
2014-01-20, Seminarierummet, Urbana och regionala studier, Drotttning Kristinas Väg 30, KTH, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)

QC 20140121

Available from: 2014-01-21 Created: 2014-01-21 Last updated: 2014-01-23Bibliographically approved

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