Starry Night bike path designer's next projects
The Van Gogh-Roosegaarde bicycle path was opened in Eindhoven on November 12 in honor of the 125th anniversary of the death of Vincent van Gogh. His world-famous painting, The Starry Night, inspired the path. Together with construction firm Heijmans, the artist Daan Roosegaarde developed a special technique illuminating the path by thousands of twinkling stones. Organizations worldwide are showing a great interest in his projects. With his eye fixed on the future he tells NL Times, “Creativity is the new Capital and The Netherlands can contribute to this immensely.” A rising star in the design world, 35-year-old Roosegaarde runs his own firm from offices in the Netherlands since 2006 and also in Shanghai, China since 2011. In that short period of time, he has proposed luminescent "smart highways", inked a deal to help China innovatively tackle smog, won multiple awards and landed at number five on the Trouw’s list of the 100 most sustainable-focused people in the Netherlands.
The self-described "hippie with a business plan" grew up in Nieuwkoop, a sleepy Zuid Holland village surrounded by lakes, where he spent many hours exploring the mysteries of nature. “Like the fact that one of the lakes was warm throughout the whole year, due to swamp gasses. So much magic to discover”, he says, looking back now. After some unmotivated, lazy years as an average high school student, he went to art school, followed by a postdoctoral in architecture. Combining art with technique, he had finally found his passion and there was no stopping him now. The future of Roosegaarde seems as bright as his enlightened objects. “We’re developing new designs and illuminating landscapes for Schiphol airport,” he said. Dutch Minister of Infrastructure Melanie Schultz van Haegen also recently asked Daan Roosegaarde to design the new Smart Highway for the Afsluitdijk, the iconic 32-kilometer dike connecting Noord Holland and Friesland. “And we are working on a project merging the luciferin found in fire flies with plants to create luminescent nature,” he said. “As long as I continue to be that little boy, in awe of the magic world around him, I will be able to keep doing what I want to do,” he said contentedly.