Students build earthen ovens using inflatable molds, learn about colonialism, food studies, sustainability

horno class
June 6, 2022

This Spring, Students in the collaborative research seminar Tres Hornos: Earthen Ovens and Foodways of the Southwest experimented with design and construction techniques to build and use earthen ovens, also known as hornos, using a traditional brick mold process combined with a newly designed inflatable mold. The experimental tempering of bricks and the new inflatable mold process is designed to provide sustainable and efficient materials and methods that can be easily transported and deployed by those experiencing displacement due to humanitarian crisis and migration. The course was taught by Ronald Rael, Professor of Art Practice and Architecture, Stephanie Syjuco, Professor of Art Practice, and Jun Sunseri, Anthropology Professor. With a mission to bring together undergraduates and graduates from across the campus, the course welcomed students into a mentorship model as they worked together around topics such as food studies, sustainability, and colonialism. The course was part of the program New Strategies for the Humanities at Berkeley, a Mellon Foundation grant under the Division of Arts & Humanities.