Daan Roosegaarde, artist and innovator from Rotterdam, Netherlands. Photo © D. Roosegaarde

1.Tell us what you do and your beginnings.

I am an artist and innovator and as the social design lab, with my team of designers and engineers, we connect people and technology in artworks that improve daily life in urban environments, spark imagination and fight the climate crisis.

We create dreamscapes for the liveability of our future landscapes. Clean air, clean water, clean energy, and clean space are our new values. Light is our language. From an early age I was guided by nature’s gifts such as luminous fireflies or jellyfishes.

My fascination for nature and technology is reflected in my iconic works such as “Smog free project” (the largest outdoor air purifier which turns smog into jewellery), “Van Gogh path” (bicycle path which glows at night), and my most recent “Space waste lab” to visualise and capture space waste.

Studio Roosegaarde is located in a former glass factory in the harbour of Rotterdam NL, also known as the Dream Factory. Here new innovations are developed from concept into artistic installations.

2.What are your favorite museums in the world? Why?

I love Insel Hombroich which has a rare symbiotic relationship between nature and exploring art. Mori Art Museum in Tokyo made a brave choice to not make a penthouse but a museum in their top floors.

Grow ​© Daan Roosegaarde

3.How important are social networks in your business? And which platform do you prefer and why.

We have great relationships with Wageningen University, World Economic Forum and also the design community such as Dezeen and Designboom. Sharing knowledge and challenging the status quo is key to the artworks we create. The best platform is making prototypes; trying, learning, failing, improving. Focus on the artistic dream and let the idea guide you, fuelled by science and collaborations.

4.What are your future projects? 

After the launch of “Grow”, we are now focussing on “Urban sun”. World’s first “Urban sun” inspires safer social gatherings and cleans the coronavirus in public spaces to bring well-being. “Urban sun” is inspired by scientists who proved that the light wavelength of 222nm can eliminate up to 99.9% of the coronavirus and is safe for animals and people. But most of all “Urban sun” is about designing our better future.

5.To create greater engagement among museums, artists and professionals, do you have any advice for cultural projects such as #MuseumWeek?

A good museum should activate interaction and knowledge exchange, and move away from the ‘please do not touch’ signs. Blurring the boundaries between art and science should be its mission.

In a world of global challenges our creativity is our true capital, it is something which separates us from the machines. A good museum should have these values in its DNA.

Interview by Fabio Pariante, journalist – Twitter


Daan Roosegaarde on social networks: Instagram – Facebook – Twitter – LinkedInVimeo

Daan Roosegaarde (Nieuwkoop, 1979) is a Dutch artist and in 2007 he founded Studio Roosegaarde, which realizes urban projects between technology and art. He studied at the Institute for the Arts in Arnhem, the Academy of Fine Arts in Enschede and the Berlage Institute in Rotterdam. Another location of his “pop-up” studio is also located in Shanghai. For the projects the artist uses light technology and some sensors in an interactive way, to create poetic landscapes, futuristic and original works.

To complete each work, audience interaction is required to fully understand it, for example: the artist mounts filters on bicycles to collect impurities from the air while the bicycle is in motion, or to walk on a 600-meter cycle path between Nuenen and Eindhoven, which uses integrated lights to evoke “The starry night”, the painting by Vincent Van Gogh. The works of Studio Roosegaarde have been exhibited at the Tate Modern, the Design Museum in London, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Rijksmuseum and at the Tokyo National Museum. Winner of the London Design Innovation Award in 2016, Daan Roosegaarde lives and works between the Netherlands and China.