Architecture / Workshop / Teaching – Making Futures, Haus der Statistik, Berlin, 2019
Baking Futures addresses the value of communal, practical doing within both professional practice and private everyday life. It combines the collective construction of a clay fire baking oven with the experience of preparing a simple meal from primary materials, centered around some “real” sourdough. The clay construction and food preparation are conducted in a slow, conscious and performative way alongside conversations around everyday rituals and practices.
As an open construction site and food laboratory taking place parallel to the Making Futures School, part of Bauhaus+ action research project by Universität der Künste Berlin and raumlabor, the clay and dough lab invites participants to take constructive breaks to help and learn, share and relax, digest and ferment.
The fireplace has been at the centre of communication and exchange ever since humans first started gathering, cooking and sharing food around it. Yet nowadays, it has been widely abandoned, hidden or transformed within fast-paced contemporary lifestyles. Beyond the primary functions of feeding hungry stomachs and providing heat, its value ranges from the ability to connect people and support constructive dialogue, to providing a sensual and archaic experience of material transformation.
Today, such values are substituted by global and industrial market offering, obscuring ones more basic needs such as simple and healthy nutrition behind artificially planted cravings which continuously change alongside global trends. Bread constitutes a basic but diversified staple of most culture’s culinary traditions but is today one of the most underrated and exploited products on the market.
As reaction, we will perform a daily, communal ritual feeding of a sour dough as a gesture of daily appreciation, care and recreation, both physically and mentally. Habits of daily provision, preparation and consumption of food leading to investigations about general productive and consumptive behavior will be discussed in an experimental and open way. By conducting simple and slow steps in a performative way we want to unfold their inherent potential and activate the social fireplace in the middle of Berlin’s commercial City centre.
As a result, alongside different forms of material and immaterial creations during the process, the bread oven will be used for a ceremonial inauguration, feeding participants and friends with various breads each with their own stories and experiences.
Team: Johanna Dehio & David Moritz
Images by David Moritz, Johanna Dehio, Lena Giovanazzi.