FIRE-KITCHEN is an exemplary process in which raw materials, food ingredients and clay, will be transformed into a usable kitchen unit and fully set dinner table. It proposes an action that happens in public and is open to participation: pots, fire stoves and tableware will be formed from clay and baked in a wood fire, obtaining a black, matte surface through reduction and oxidation. A feast will be prepared, food cooked with the recipes from all participants and shared around the table during the opening.
Through hands-on work and sensual contact with the raw clay as well as the archaic experience of cooking on fire, the understanding and accessibility of the complete production process is increasing, while the process itself is reduced in its complexity. The project wants to raise our curiosity for the processes behind the things and how they are all interconnected: raw materials, labour, economic factors and resulting prices are often incomprehensible. The production conditions of low quality mass-produced objects reflect the little appreciation and lack of connection with the origin of the objects.
The project is inspired by the Brazilian Barro Preto pottery that has the typical black coloured surface after being baked in open fire. The oxidation resulting from reduction burning allows the pots to breathe while being more dense. Earthenware baked on open fire can be found in all cultures, such as the Moroccan Tajine, the Mexican Barro Negro from Oaxaca,Turkish Güvec, the Japanese Nabe, the German Roemertopf etc.
The project FIRE-KITCHEN was realized in cooperation with the Austrian Caritas group Kompa and invited refugees from different countries (Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Iran) and neighbours to participate in a 10 day action in an enchanted backyard garden in the center of Vienna: starting from a selected recipe a cooking pot and a table stove were designed and built from clay. Throughout the 10 days, several cooking pots, steamers, tajines, open baking pans and closed ovens, coffee and tea pots and jugs were created, burned in wood fire and used for cooking.
The project Fire-Kitchen took place in the framework of the Vienna Design Week 2016 Stadtarbeit Format.
It received the MehrWERT-Designpreis 2016 for social design of Erste Bank Austria.
Team: Johanna Dehio, Mascha Fehse, Valentina Karga, Liza Schluder, Sèbastien Tripod