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.


. coast the clay evenly . cut out shapes, e.g. by using a pattern to cut around . in order to connect, water and scratch the touching/overlapping surfaces (there has to be a rather big surface connecting in order that the joints stay well together during the burning) . reinforce the connection with a clay sausage inside the object if needed . even and smoothe the surface with your fingers or a tool to avoid leaking of liquids in the later use . work fast and avoid the clay to dry while you are working
[the clay we use is Sibelco PRGM 40 , but another clay would also work, as long as it has a high percentage (40%) of schamotte]

objects made from clay have to dry in a arid, preferebly warm (but not hot!) place, e.g. in the shadow on a sunny day, for at least two days until they are dry and don‘t feel cold when touched. In order to make them suitable for cooking, they are burned on a relatively low temperature of 800 °C, which makes them dense enough to be used and contain liquids, but still open porous enough to support temperature change. the temperature has to rise slowly during burning, while the colours of the clay roughly indicate its temperature: first the clay objects become black from the carbon black, which burns off at 400 ° turning to white. at approx. 800 °C the objects start to glow orange. at this point the temperature can be reduced again slowly. the whole burning takes about 24 hours.

in order to seal the surface of the clay and to thus make it more resistant and taste neutral, the clay objects can be burned in a reduction burning, where the fire is cut off from oxygen. through this burning the objects obtain their black colour. there are different techniques to blacken, we are using a pit fire, a paper-clay oven or a smoldering fire in a metal bin.

. make a hole in an earth or sand ground. the dimesions should be largely big enough to stack all clay objects that will be burnt inside and proportional in diameter and depth (approx. 80 x 80 cm) . make a big fire inside the burrow for about two hours to dry and heat it. when the wood is almost burned down, push it to the side and carefully place the clay objects in the middle . slowly restart the fire on the sides and take a couple of hours to slowly heat up ending with a big fire above the clay object . after roughly four hours, when all wood transformed to glowing coal, pour a large bin of saw dust or other finely chopped organic material and immediately cover with sand or earth until no smoke and flames leave the pit anymore. wait at least 12 hours, until the earth has cooled down, to dig out the clay objects

clay pots have very good characteristics for cooking. however, the clay can break when it faces sudden temperature changes. it should therefore always be heated slowly in an oven or on a fire. for some recipes the clay pot is soaked with water for a couple of hours before cooking in order to release this water and create a steam athmosphere inside the closed pot during the cooking process.

clay containers are also very good for cooling down. while storing water, for example, in a clay jug, the material slowly soaks with water and evaporates it on the outside surface. the energy consumed for evaporation, cools down the clay and thereby the liquid inside

tajine is a typical pot from the north african traditional kitchen. for stewing vegetables, fish or meat inside the tajine, it is closed with a coan shaped lid. on top of the coan is a little water container that is filled with water during cooking and cools the rising vapor inside, which condenses and runs back into the steam to make the dish juicy and spread the tastes of the spices.In morocco, the tajine is served with flatbred or couscous.
morrocans sit around the tajine and eat, using only their right hand without cutlery. they grasp a piece of vetable or meat using the flat bred and dip this ensemble in the sauce.

. 4 TBS olive oil . 4 shallots . 2 garlic toes . seasonal vegetables: aubergines, zucchini, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, fenchel, paprika, cabbage, celery, carots etc. . dried dates and apricots . coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cardamom, fenugreek . fresh ginger and kurkuma . sea salt and black pepper . honey
soak tajine and lid with water for 1 our, then pour out. pour some oil on the bottom. start piling the sliced vegetables, dry fruits and herbs around the center in a thoughtful way. finish with some oil, honey and salt. cover with the lid and put on glowing coal for aprox. 30 – 40 minutes. serve with homemade flat-bread or couscous.


The project FireKitchen was initiated by Designer Johanna Dehio in 2015 after discovering the typical black panela de barro during a project in Brazil, which is traditionally used to cook the popular dish ‘Moqueca de Peixe’. Architect Mascha Fehse joined the team from 2016 on for the realisation of the public project in Vienna, among other collaborators.

Initiator & Founder:
Johanna Dehio (*1984) is a german designer living and working currently in Berlin.
Based on a study of different aspects of improvisation which are consistently serving as an impulse and inspiration for Johanna Dehios work, she is concerned with the substance of relationships between the user and the object/space which implicates a responsibility for the things and built environement. She creates objects that are characterized on a functional level by open and accessible structures that provoke interaction. All different forms and aspects of design can be lead back to the living environement of people and are contextualized in it.
In her projects she constantly deals with several interconnected topics and questions: „Arbeitstitel – vom Provisorium zum Produkt“ was a research and design project dealing with the exploration of the potentials of improvisation within the design process, 2010; „Construisine I“ was a temporary open kitchen and workshop in the center of Vienna during „Stadtarbeit, Vienna Design Week“, 2013 (2), in „Casa do Vapor“ she developed communicative furniture together with the habitants of the village as part of a social construction project of ConstructLab during Architecture Triennale Lisbon, 2013; „Construisine II“ dealt with the reactivation of the old masters house of Oscar Schlemmer in exchange and reflection with the neighbourhood problematic during a residency-stipend at Bauhaus Dessau, 2013.
Her work ranges from furniture, product design and scenography projects to spacial and social interventions and the realisation of intercultural design projects, exhibitions and workshops. Next to running her experimental design Atelier, Johanna Dehio is teaching at University of the Arts Berlin (UdK) since 2014 and holding interdisciplinary workshops and lectures . She recieved international prices (NWW Design Award) and has been invited to take part in residency programs (Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau 2013, MQ21 Vienna 2012).


Mascha Fehse is a Berlin-based architect. Next to her master studies at Berlin University of the Arts she is frequently engaged in projects performing on the border of architecture, art and cultural practices. She is confronting questions of the public and the common, focusing on micro-collisions, applied experimental approaches and a design discourse that triggers curiosity and leaves space for an attitude. She is intrigued by moments that allow a multiplicity of motivation and coexistence of contradictions. Social constellation, infrastructural relations, structural connections and imaginative associations are issues that occupy her.
Her work ranges from theoretical to practical contributions on how we can imagine living together, such as “Illusion and Confusion”, a collaborative case study and proposition for managing public space, awarded by the Zagreb Association of Architects in the Think Public Space Competition, 2015; an applied research laboratory under the title “Summer School of Applied Autonomy” together with artist Valentina Karga in Berlin 2014; the project “Mon(s) Invisible”, a hub for the Youth of Mons and temporary Cultural Center constructed and curated with ConstructLab in Mons, Belgium 2015; or the construction of a heated public bench “Hot Stuff” in collaboration with Sébastien Tripod and Valentina Karga in Witten 2016.

Collaborators Vienna: Liza Schluder, Sèbastien Tripod.
Collaborators Sao Paulo: David Moritz, Sofia Ramos.
Collaborators Berlin: Valentina Karga

Partners: Goethe Institut Sao Paulo, Vila Itororo Sao Paulo / Instituto Pedra, 11a Bienal de Arquitectura Sao Paulo, Vienna Design Week, FAU USP, UdK – University of the Arts Berlin, BTU – Brandenburgische Technische Universität Cottbus-Senftenberg, Constructlab / The Arch Genk.