Re-Fire kit by Francesco Faccin creates
fire without matches or a lighter


Milan 2014: rubbing together wooden tools in this kit by Italian designer Francesco Faccin creates fire in a "primitive manner" (+ movie).

Fire Kit by Francesco Faccin

Francesco Faccin revisited a manual fire lighting technique, using the friction created by rubbing a soft wood against a hard wood to produce glowing ashes that can be used to light straw.

Fire Kit by Francesco Faccin

"This project has been designed to manually light the fire in a completely primitive manner," said Faccin, who showed the Re-Fire Kit at Spazio Rossana Orlandi in Milan last month.

Fire Kit by Francesco Faccin

In this case, a beech spindle is rotated within pre-formed holes in a board made from linden wood, creating a device known as a bow-drill. The user kneels on the board to weigh it down and keep it in place.

Fire Kit by Francesco Faccin

The bow-drill comes in an aluminium tube with caps on either end. One serves as a socket to put pressure on the spindle and the other is used as a container for the straw to be lit by the embers.

Fire Kit by Francesco Faccin

A walnut bow is used to spin the beech stick fast enough to create a spark. The spindle is stayed using a hole made by a loop in the rope, held in tension by a brass screw, then rolled back and forth.

Fire Kit by Francesco Faccin

"The rhythmic movement of the arm combined with the pressure of the hand on the socket creates friction on the fire board, which in a few seconds produces the ash required to light the straw," Faccin explained to Dezeen.

Fire Kit by Francesco Faccin

Making your own fire gives a greater sense of achievement than using modern tools, according to Faccin.

"When I actually managed to create fire with my own hands, I was overwhelmed by a powerful sensation of self-sufficiency and independence," he said.

Fire Kit by Francesco Faccin

The wooden elements were shaped using a combination of laser cutting and CNC routing, and went through many iterations before they worked together.

Fire Kit by Francesco Faccin

"This project is emotionally charged and extremely physical; it cuts across innumerable frustrating attempts to identify the perfect equilibrium between the various components," Faccin said.

Fire Kit by Francesco Faccin

The project was first shown during Stockholm Design Week earlier this year, before being displayed at Orlandi's courtyard gallery during Milan design week.

Photography is by Delfino Sisto Legnani.

  • The Liberty Disciple

    I love this. Seriously, this is great.

  • Gideon Pieterse

    Since when has the contemporary way of lighting fires become too mainstream?

    • come on hipster light my fire

      Since having gears on bikes and wearing glasses one actually needs also became too mainstream.

  • Jimmyboy82

    What next? Revisiting the horse?

  • sam

    This project is not about fire, but about the gesture that leads to it. i think its interesting.

    • Concerned Citizen

      In that context, it’s irrelevant.

    • Concerned Citizen

      In that context, it’s irrelevant.

  • Adam

    The only merit I see is the attention to detail in the craft of making an object here, it’s a reasonably pleasant object. I know I’m just reiterating what others have already said, but good God man, is there really no better story to feature?

    I was in the boy scouts and learned to do this and tie knots as a young man, why can I or my prior ‘work’ not get featured?

    This is really quite lazy if you ask me. Again, where’s the sense of responsibility from the perspective of the designer? How much does this thing actually cost to prototype and sell? Not to mention, who is this person trying to cater to as a clientele?

    There is no, ‘Making your own fire gives a greater sense of achievement than using modern tools, according to Faccin’ because this is a basic skill that undeveloped neanderthals can and did easily grasp without CNC milled anythings!

    Maybe I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, I’ll stop rambling.

  • Jones

    I must agree in some sense with some of the comments that this is needless, or a “reinvention of the wheel”. I don’t believe this work is motivated by necessity or is the answer to a pressing problem. However, if we are able to look into these objects a bit further, I think there is a compelling aspect here: that a highly machined and revised tool is able to act crudely upon itself to create a primordial flame.

    I think where technology is concerned, the misalignment of a highly refined and manufactured set of basic self-immolating tools is the most potent conceptual nugget here. To James who rightly points out this misalignment, isn’t this an interesting predicament? Consider that what the laser cutter achieves is merely a highly controlled implementation of what a fire bow does, perhaps presenting this work as an evocation of the earliest and latest versions of the human concoction of flame.

  • Göran Carl Heintz

    I can bet my life this guy has a Macbook Pro, an iPhone and an iPad :) Somewhat cool project, it sure looks nice but yeah, only the packaging has changed. I’ll bet people would only use this maybe twice. Then go back to matches.

  • Edi Fervi

    It seems clear to me the conceptual nature of this project. It’s a worthwhile project to trigger thinking about what is really necessary… It seems to me an invitation to go back to basics, but without nostalgia.

  • Smow-ki

    It’s not the fire that kills you, it’s the hype.

  • parttimebushman.

    If that’s how you feel, just think of the satisfaction you could get making the tools for yourself by hand from locally sourced materials, instead of buying this mass-produced toy.