Satellite Kitchens

Satellite Kitchens
Paraskevi Demetriou in her exterior kitchen. Photo credits Angel Ballesteros, Muzungu.
Satellite Kitchens is a research action project investigating the exterior kitchens as spaces of assembly, resistance, empowerment and care.

Thesprotia, Greece
Team members
Juan Chacón
Christina Serifi
Field of work
Architecture, Ecology, Research, Other
Project category
Food system
Project submitted

TiriLab, is an initiative and an open platform which explores multi-cultural heritage related to local technologies, gastronomy and culture specifics from rural communities in northern western Greece. During the last years we have worked together with women cooperatives, associations and self-organized initiatives in Thesprotia aiming to create an active knowledge network, in order to empower them, give them visibility and foster their multilayered identity. Tirilab is part of the Erasmus+ program “A school of commons”, connecting architecture schools with communities and spatial practitioners using various teaching learning methods.

Thesprotia rural region of northwestern Greece is home to a variety of outdoor kitchen repositories, constructed and organized mostly by women. Due to transhumance pastoralism of the area, women were building seasonal kitchen huts, providing shelter for the whole family. Despite the transition from nomadism to more stable communities around 70s with permanent houses and interior kitchens with electric stove, oven and running water, these exterior spaces continue to exist, evolved and transformed. Separate from the main house, these detached kitchens are personal spaces built around a wood-fire oven, where women have cooked and gathered for decades. Inside these social and culinary laboratories, fresh goat cheese is prepared, eggs are stored, vegetables are cooked and recipes are exchanged. They are spaces for storytelling, socialising and at the same time intimate cooking.

Through this project we have already mapped the typologies of the exterior kitchens within more than 40 communities in the Thesprotia hinterland, capturing their unique interior and spatial configurations, as well as the recipes and stories of the cross-cultural generations of women who have occupied them. Our objective is to continue documenting and giving voice to these invisible practices, providing a space for these women to appreciate and acknowledge their work on both domestic and communal scales. These outdoor kitchens are not only spaces for culinary activities but also for storytelling, socializing, and intimate cooking.