When I first saw the Exbury Egg on Designboom, I thought "It's a house boat, so what?" Abeit a very nice houseboat, built with traditional techniques out of local materials by artist Stephen Turner, but a bit pretentious:
The Exbury Egg is a trans-disciplinary project drawing on art and architecture as well as technology and the sciences to transcend individual specialism and work toward a further engagement of my visual art practice with contemporary ecological thinking.
It does what house boats do, get tied up and go up and down.
The Egg will be ‘tethered’ like a boat and will rise and fall with the tide. The light touch and basic nature of the 'Exbury Egg' aims to re-appraise the way we live; to properly consider sustainably and future use of natural resources.
So why is this special?
It's an experiment in low impact living.
The ‘Exbury Egg’ adopts the two key premises of “Lean, Green and Clean” and “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle”. ...This is not a romantic anti-modern back to nature project, where technology is rejected or spurned. Rather it is about demanding the best and most efficient of the new to combine with the tried and tested.
Electricity is solar; there is no explanation of where water comes from, where it goes, and how the toilet works, although the section shows storage tanks under the floor.
It's an educational project.
There will be an extensive education programme covering primary age students through to university. Schools will be able to engage with the Egg project throughout its programme, including the construction period, on science, art, ecology and engineering topics.
He is an artist, and the whole thing is an art project.
Inside, my own visual and philosophical twelve month journey will be catalogued in collections of still and moving image, found objects, drawings and maps. Thus the Egg should be seen as a sculptural element in a time based happening, that both inside and out is a creative archive addressing important questions about one of the pressing issues of our age.
It also has an amazing team of architects, builders, managers and naval architects. I take it back, it's more than an houseboat.
More at the Exbury Egg.