Antarctica melting, polar bears vanishing - what do we do? Farm polar bears on artificial icebergs made of recycled freezers - it's actually possible.
Based in Melbourne, Australia, industrial designer and artist Stephen Mushin's projects explore interactions between human made machines and natural ecologies. His Cows Must Fly project is a collaboration with engineers and scientists to build the world's first Cowship. This project, along with other ecological machines will be published as a book by Allen and Unwin in early 2018.
The Cowship Project was first presented in 2013 as Now If What Then, as part of CUSP, a touring exhibition of futures thinking curated by The Australian Design Centre. In August 2014 Now If What Then: Farming Tokyo was exhibited as a solo show at Spiral contemporary art gallery in collaboration with The Tokyo University of Agriculture. This exhibition presented 10 of Stephen's projects which explored ideas for re-imagining the world’s largest city as self sufficient in food production.
Stephen regularly runs design workshops with schools and universities, works with communities on public art projects like building Colourpults, and his designs have recently been exhibited in Sydney at the Grace Crossington Smith Gallery (2015), at The Glasshouse in Port Macquarie (2016), and at MRPG gallery and Docklands Library Gallery in Melbourne (2017).
Stephen has a background in projects dealing with intensive urban food production, aquaponics, waste composting, renewable energy and master-planning for zero emissions communities.
In 2012 Stephen won the British Council's Big Green Idea Award for an open-source aquaponics system, he managed technology projects at CERES Environment Park for seven years, and in 2015 was awarded an Australian Design Honours (note that the judges may have believed that The Cowship Project was a little more advanced than it actually is. Please keep this quiet).