Project by Anastasia Eggers and Ottonie von Roeder  

Cow&Co is a concept introduced by a group of cows that want to start their own business. The cows transform themselves into self-sufficient machines for milk production. Methane gas collected from their rumen is used as a fuel to power a milking robot. The animals move independently in green spaces of a city and use an online service in order to connect to their customers. The service allows people to easily locate a cow of their choice and collect fresh milk from them. The cows are equipped with a welfare sensor that allows them to rate their customers, but also use the data for technical, veterinary and nutritious maintenance.

The idyllic image of a cow in the fields on the milk packaging seldom corresponds with reality. Bust most likely it is the only image of a cow that we as city dwellers can relate to. The real cow and other farm animals with their issues remain invisible. Over the last decades, we as consumers are slowly losing the connection to the food production – it happens out of our sight. Like this, it is more convenient for us and more efficient for the food industry. It is especially advantageous for the meat and dairy industry, as the less aware we are of what happens on industrial farms, the more likely we are to consume the products without feeling responsible for their processes.

The Cow&Co project addresses the production-consumption relationship when it comes to our food and especially milk production and looks for future alternatives that will bring the producer of the milk directly into the city.
Cow&Co is a critical project that aims at redefining the farm animal in the society by bringing not only the cows but also the dairy production processes back into the city. Cow&Co reconnects the consumer with the food production network, confronting him with issues like animal welfare and ethics of our food production, speaking metaphorically about the exploitation of farm animals.

At the same time, the project proposes a transformative business model that enables decentralised fabrication, fusing agricultural innovations such as robotic milking, making use of the animal as a power source, and combining the physical and virtual world.

Finalist at the Post Fossil City Contest 2017, Winner of the International Jury Award 2018 and the Dutch Design Awards 2018, category Service&Systems

Tuesday Oct 5 2021