Stove Love: Holey Rocket Eco-centric vernacular design; a cooking stove as an adaptive model type.
Stove Love is a project that provides a means of adapting the Holey Rocket stove design to fit existing cooking stoves. The Holey Rocket is a cooking stove that is designed to apply to existing inefficient cooking systems. Designed to use biomass briquettes widely used in rural households around the world, it was developed in collaboration with Legacy Foundation, an Oregon-based not-for-profit organization advocating the use of this alternative fuel technology. Support from the Legacy Foundation and other local and international groups has resulted in more than fifty communities in parts of Africa, South America and Asia using briquettes as a primary cooking fuel, and thereby contributing to counteracting devastating deforestation.
Holey Rocket is specifically designed to burn biomass briquettes. Its system is based on the Rocket combustion technology developed by Dr. Larry Winiarski and the Aprovecho Research Center in Eugene, Oregon, to reduce fuel usage and harmful emissions, primarily from wood and charcoal. Holey Rocket borrowed the basic principles from the Rocket technology and the system evolved as briquettes themselves were redesigned for a better, cleaner burn. The briquette chamber is an insulated combustion chamber that works together with the stove form to create an optimal cooking system.
The Holey Rocket design is currently being implemented in four local environments; DR Congo, Chad, Tanzania and Cambodia. In these locations, briquette manufacturing activity has developed over several years and is growing rapidly. Each local environment represents a different set of geographical and socio-cultural relations. These demand an adaptable consultant-design methodology capable of working with different construction material resources, numerous briquette recipes, user structures and gastronomic cultures, as well as with diverse entrepreneurial networks that communicate information about the stove implementation.
The alternative design process that informs this project is based on the eco-centric concept of Ecosophy. It recognizes the design milieu as a field of intrinsic relations where the designer partakes in a non-anthropocentric position. Similar initiatives were used in pre-industrial, “vernacular” building processes that unfolded according to the traditional, but custom-built, site-specific designs where the user defined the final function independently from the designer.
Stove Love functions through the virtual environment as an information transaction and direct action. It is designed to help build functional prototypes in collaboration with local entrepreneurs. Accumulated information from various environments contributes to the single product-type database, and brings diverse local knowledge to a common table. Gradually, experimentation becomes tradition, and resilient, ever-more efficient cooking stove concepts are adapted to an increasing number of environments.