Living with Smoke: A Fluid Domestic Environment

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1 Citation (Scopus)


This article examines the experiences of living with smoke in the context of traditional domestic food-smoking enterprises. Smoke is largely discussed in architectural discourse as a pollutant that must be removed from the built environment. This article argues that the investigation of traditional food-smoking practices potentially shifts such discussions, positioning smoke as a driver of the domestic living system. Understanding the notion of living with smoke requires a twofold discussion between the spatiality of food-smoking driven by the environmental, cultural, and social aspects of the community; and the material fluctuation of smoke that define the body experience and movement. This research explores the experiential narrative of living with smoke in traditional fish-smoking dwellings in the Brebes neighborhood of Central Java, Indonesia. The study identified three intertwined experiential food-smoking narratives: (1) the activity flow of smoke, (2) fluctuating smoke behavior and the bodily response, and (3) smoke traces. These narratives suggest a fluid programming system that is driven by the spatial and material arrangements and maneuvers of living with smoke. In this system, dwellings no longer exist as conditioned spaces but are instead shaped by transactions between materials, bodies, space, and the surrounding neighborhood.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-102
Number of pages24
JournalHome Cultures
Issue number2
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022


  • domestic
  • fluidity
  • food-smoking practice
  • material
  • smoke


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