The Curious Case
of the Kitchen Computer
P. Atkinson, 'The Curious Case of the Kitchen Computer:
Products and Non-Products in Design History'
Journal of Design History 23(2): 2010: 163-179.
The Honeywell Kitchen Computer was a publicity stunt, a spoof, continuing a long line of fantasy gifts offered by the up-market American department store Neiman Marcus. But this is not the whole story. What was advertised as the Kitchen Computer was actually designed as a serious mini computer produced by Honeywell as a part of its Series 16 line - although, even as a commercial product, it was never really intended to sell.
This study explores the notion of products and non-products and argues that even non-products can have significant agency as well as provide valuable insights into a period's zeitgeist.
The full article is on the Journal of Design History website.