Cocina de Tanda (The Rotating Kitchen) is a commoning of a kitchen. A kitchen, and its activity of cooking, is one part where domestic labor and the marginalized reside. Envisioning the potential of collective cooking, and the focus towards food in Mexican lifestyle, the project is an attempt to commonize the sub-program of a domesticity. A Tanda is a Latin American social activity of informal loaning, where community members collect an equal fee and periodically decides to provide it to one member. Not only is the grantee able to receive a lump sum in finance, but the gathering provides an outlet for social gatherings; the formation becomes ritualized that people actively demands to be a part of.
The structure of Cocina de Tanda references the Tanda; community members collectively finance the kitchen, alternates to operate, and all benefits from being relieved from cooking.
The kitchen is in relationship with two different scales, an intricate and direct one with its community/operators, and a loose but grander one with Santa Maria la Ribera. Despite the vast difference in extent, there are two features that ties in everything due to the Mexican diet: a Tortilleria and a garden. Tortillas, or its prior form known as Masa, are a staple in Mexican cuisine. Its central figure, and constant demand in a Mexican household enabled a specific bakery to serve such demand, hence the name Tortilleria. A garden is due to another specialty in the cuisine, condiments or other known as salsa. Fresh aromatics are processed to create a variety of salsas, often different per dish. Both gastronomic aspects are a common resource that resonates between the local and neighborhood scale. By utilizing these elements, the Cocina de Tanda can not only serve as a common for its close community of Calle Loto, but it can simultaneously act as a unique tortilleria/salsa-ria for Santa Maria la Ribera.
Focusing on these two elements and their processes, Cocina de Tanda will be consisted of furniture and structures that facilitate the common production. As a common, the priority of the Kitchen is for the quality, since it will be the same food that will end on the producer’s table. This allows the kitchen to actively engage with manual labor, just like how one does in his house, but at a collective, larger scale.
A tortilleria, typically an industrial endeavor in Mexico City,relies on machinery for its grinding and grilling, and often uses mass-produced Masa, which is tasteless and brittle due to its high percent of lime for longer shelf life. The Tortilleria of Cocine de Tanda can have custom Metates (stone grinders) and Comales (griddle), to not only be visually appealing, but also to be a centerpiece for social interaction and ritualization.
The Garden, which its original open space is not enough for daily consumption, will be consisted of custom mobile pottery. This will allow ripe vegetables to come indoors, thus increasing the overall quantity while maintaining freshness. The flexible nature of the pottery also allows the interior to be changeable based on the need of the Kitchen; the vegetables can act as thresholds for the ever changing requirements of different social events.