The kitchen work triangle is a 90-year-old concept that dictates the placement of the sink, cooktop, and refrigerator. According to the theory, when these three elements are close (but not too close) together, the kitchen will be easy to use, and the cook won’t have to take a lot of wasted steps. It’s about as well-known and time-tested an interior design concept as they come.
The kitchen work triangle idea was originally called “circular routing” and was rolled out at a women’s exposition in 1929. The concept dovetailed nicely with the so called scientific management principles en vogue at the time, which promoted labor efficiency and productivity but were later criticized for treating humans like machines. The Illinois School of Architecture further developed the concept in the 1940s, bringing it to more or less its current form.