The Exbury Egg is a floating research station created by the artist Stephen Turner (who specializes in artistic explorations of environmental settings) in collaboration with the Space Placemaking and Urban Design (SPUD Group) to ‘re-appraise the way we live’.
The pod will be floating the English River Beaulieu for 365 days during which time it will be used as a base for Stephen to study the ecosystem of the tidal creek.
Made out of local materials and using classic boat building techniques, the pod is designed to glide and adapt through different types of exposure, yet, the smooth form will transform completely after a year of wind, rain and high water.
Stephen says: “Climate change is already creating new shorelines and habitats. Established salt marsh is being eroded by a combination of rising sea levels and falling landmass and the entire littoral environment is in a state of flux.”
The transformation of the Egg is a visual representation of this fragility. The metaphor of the egg will not be lost on visitors: both the source of life, and an object that once broken cannot be fixed.
Both Turner and the vessel will need to deal with various weather conditions, tide levels, and seasons for the whole year until this art exhibition comes to an end. During that time he will be documenting his experiences through videos, photos, collected research, drawings and observations of the ever changing landscape. Though his living conditions will be sparse, he will have access to electricity thanks to solar panels on the roof, who will record not only how much energy is produced but the amount he uses, as well as other amenities including a shower, toilet, bed, and small gas stove.
The solar power should be sufficient to charge a laptop, phone and webcam and therefore provide a platform to support his ongoing research.
According to Turner: ‘Everything about this project looks to the value of our environment and sustainability; from the design, raising awareness of environmental change, to creating a cross curriculum education program for schools and colleges.’