Daan Roosegaarde: Biography highlights

Roosegaarde is best known for his internationally awarded projects such as ‘Dune’, ‘Intimacy 2.0’ and ‘Sustainable Dance Floor’.

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Full biography of Daan Roosegaarde

Dutch innovator Daan Roosegaarde is an artist creating social designs which explore the relation between people, technology and space.

Daan Roosegaarde’s Background / History

Since an early age, Daan has been driven by phenomena discovered in nature such as light-emitting fireflies and jellyfishes. This fascination for nature combined with a keen interest in technology is reflected in his iconic designs. After dropping out of two fine art studies, Daan graduated from The Berlage Institute with a Masters degree in architecture. He founded Studio Roosegaarde in 2007, where, at studios in Rotterdam and Shanghai, he and his team of designers and engineers work towards a better future. Together they develop ‘Landscapes of the Future’ building smart sustainable prototypes for the cities of tomorrow:

Smart Highways

Created in partnership with Heijmans Infrastructure, the goal of Smart Highways is to create smart roads that use light, energy and information to interact with traffic. They incorporate ‘Glowing Lines’ which charge from sunlight during the day and illuminate at night for up to 8 hours.

Van Gogh-Roosegaarde Bicycle Path

Made from thousands of twinkling stones inspired by ‘Starry Night’, the path combines innovation with cultural heritage in the town of Nuenen in the Netherlands where Van Gogh lived in 1883.


A dream landscape about the power and poetry of water. It’s a virtual flood which shows how high water levels could reach without human intervention. Originally created for the Dutch District Water Board Rijn & IJssel, the artwork has now travelled to the Museumplein in Amsterdam, Nuit Blanche in Paris and UNESCO Schokland in the Netherlands on its journey to create more awareness about the power of water.

Smog Free Project

Intended as both a solution for parks and an inspirational glimpse of the future, Smog Free Project creates clean urban skies via the Smog Free tower in Rotterdam and Smog Free Rings. Using patented ion technology to produce smog-free bubbles of public space, the project is the largest outdoor air purifier in the world and allows people to breathe and experience clean air for free.

Supported by China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection, the Project began a tour in China in September 2016.

Sustainable Dance Floor

An interactive dance floor that generates electricity through the motion of dancing.


Illustrates the beauty of green energy by connecting windmill blades with lines of light. Special software and tracking technology detect the windmill blades rotating at 280 kilometres per hour. Inspired by Kinderdijk, the windmills from 1740 are a perfect example of Dutch innovation. Reconnecting with the landscape and creating a positive image around green energy drives the project.

Awards and Achievements

Roosegaarde has been awarded ‘Young Global Leader’ at the World Economic Forum, was selected as Artist of the Year 2016 by Kunstweek and is cited as the most influential Dutch green leader by Sustainable Trouw 100.

Additionally, he has won the INDEX Design Award, the World Technology Award, the London Design Innovation Medal, two Dutch Design Awards, the Charlotte Köhler Award and China’s Most Successful Design Award.

He has exhibited at the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, Le Musée des Arts Décoratifs Paris, Tate Modern, Tokyo National Museum, Victoria & Albert Museum, and various public spaces in Europe and Asia.

Selected by Forbes and Good 100 as a creative change maker, Roosegaarde shares his ideas frequently at international conferences such as TED and Design Indaba, and as a regular TV media guest at Zomergasten, De Wereld Draait Door and CNN.



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Watch Daan in action

1/4 videos
SMOG FREE PROJECT by Daan Roosegaarde in Rotterdam [OFFICIAL MOVIE]
SMOG FREE PROJECT by Daan Roosegaarde in Rotterdam [OFFICIAL MOVIE]
Clean air design: Roosegaarde about Smog Free Tower (Chinese subtitles)
Clean air design: Roosegaarde about Smog Free Tower (Chinese subtitles)
TED Daan Roosegaarde: Princess Maxima says YES
TED Daan Roosegaarde: Princess Maxima says YES
Interactive landscapes: Daan Roosegaarde at TEDxReset 2013
Interactive landscapes: Daan Roosegaarde at TEDxReset 2013

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