Cookbooks: Past, Present and Future

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

Description of Activity

Guided cooking: The future of the cookbook in the ‘smart’ home

Since the development of the labour-saving kitchen in the nineteenth century there has been a quest to develop devices to automate food preparation and cookery. The ‘smart’ kitchen comes out of the development of the ‘smart house’. It has become affordable for transistors to be put in devices and there has been an accompanying growth in patents for artificial intelligence (AI). The next step for the smart kitchen, according to Futorologist and anthropologist Rebecca Chesney, is for it to be part of an ‘Internet of intelligent things’. New appliances in development are intelligently connected and can adapt through using sensing technologies. Chesney forecasts that such devices will become part of an ‘Internet of actions’ with a distributed global network of autonomous robots and intelligent systems. Thus ‘kitchens of action’ will be filled with inanimate objects that can talk to each other and act on our behalf. In the future, the convenience of an app, a built-in recipe database and intelligence will be baked into the device itself. This means that recipes and shopping lists will be created based on individuals’ personalized health and taste data, as well as making the most of the contents of the fridge. Taking the Thermomix and the Instant Pot as case studies of devices that facilitate guided cooking, this paper argues that the most effective ones engage with communities – real and virtual – and recognize women’s labour.
Period2 Mar 2019
Event typeConference
LocationPortsmouth, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • cookbooks
  • kitchen
  • smart kitchen
  • Smart homes
  • smart home
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • design
  • Domestic design
  • domestic appliances
  • house of the future
  • design history
  • history of design