[Herald Design Forum] Daan Roosegaarde envisions ‘Landscapes of the Future’

By Shim Woo-hyun
  • Published : Sept 30, 2019 - 17:00
  • Updated : Sept 30, 2019 - 17:00

Over the last few years, an aesthetically refined seven-meter-tall air purifier in Beijing became viral in Korea, which shares the Chinese capital’s troubles with smog and fine dust. 

Installation view of Daan Roosegaarde’s “Smoke Free Tower” in Beijing (Studio Roosegaarde)

That Instagrammable “Smog Free Tower” by Dutch artist and innovator Daan Roosegaarde did not just suck up air pollution: It also transformed particulate matter into jewelry and then into rings, which people could buy.

Roosegaarde is an artist who has been utilizing technologies to raise awareness of environmental issues and offer alternative solutions, through projects that are both viable and visually satisfying.

This internationally popular artist based in Rotterdam will speak at the Herald Design Forum 2019, delivering a lecture under the topic of “Landscapes of the Future,” highlighting his innovative practices that merge people, technology and space to create a better world.

Dutch artist and innovator Daan Roosegaarde (Studio Roosegaarde)

In his speech, Roosegaarde will explore the social role of design and the importance of “Schoonheid” (a Dutch word meaning both beauty and cleanliness), along with his vision for the future.

Among his projects is “Smart Highway,” in Oss, Netherlands, where he used photo-luminescent paint to mark the edges of the road. The project was aimed at making highways safer at night and to save both money and energy.

In his 2018 project “Waterlicht,” Roosegaarde used blue light to fill the area under the Gardiner Expressway in downtown Toronto, Canada, creating a “virtual flood” above the visitors walking underneath. The project was designed to point out the rising sea levels around the globe.

Roosegaarde recently founded the Space Waste Lab, in conjunction with the European Space Agency. The lab’s mission is to find viable solutions for space junk, which could have negative impacts for future generations. Possible measures to counteract the massive amount of man-made waste orbiting the planet include turning the waste into artificial meteor shower or using them as resources for new products.

A picture of design installation, titled “SYNC,” a collaboration between Daan Roosegaarde and BMW that was shown at Art Basel in the Swiss city this year. (Studio Roosegaarde)

He is also currently the leader of Studio Roosegaarde, a team of over 20 engineers, designers, and artists based in a Rotterdam studio that he calls the Dream Factory.

Roosegaarde has been selected as a creative change maker by Forbes and Good 100 and is a young global leader of the World Economic Forum.

By Shim Woo-hyun (