While the whole world still holds its breath in the hope that 2021 will see the return to “normal” life, Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde is lighting the way to an artistic future of sustainable living.

Daan Roosegaarde, founder of Studio Roosegaarde, has been dubbed a futuristic artist who illuminates the relationship between technology and the human environment. While established as the maker of novel, out-of-the-box social designs, the 41-year-old Dutch artist was awarded the Airbnb Design Innovation Medal at the London Design Festival in 2016.


Roosegaarde has exhibited his works at the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, Tate Modern and Tokyo National Museum, to name a few, and is now making headlines with his latest agricultural artwork, GROW. Informed by various international and local universities, Roosegaarde and his expert team have been using science-inspired-art for two years to create GROW.

What is GROW?

In their wish to make “the farmer the hero”, Studio Roosegaarde combines research on the agricultural benefits of blue, red and ultraviolet light, with the natural environment. This is to make art with a purpose. Consisting of a design-based “light recipe”, this scientific artwork shines vertically across 20,000 meters squared of Dutch farmland.


While poetic and visually transcendent, GROW utilises the benefits of specific light combinations to help the plants. On the studio’s website, the science and purpose behind this fascinating light project is explained.

The studio writes that GROW is “inspired by photobiology light science technologies which have shown that certain recipes of blue, red, and ultraviolet light can enhance plant growth and reduce the use of pesticides by up to 50%.” This project became world news by incorporating scientific research into what viewers see as a dreamscape of dancing lights in a field.

Found on Studio Roosegaarde’s website, the premier of “GROW the movie” opens with the words “vacant, empty, uninhabited” and spans an empty field — the site of Roosegaarde’s latest invention.

In his wish to emphasise the importance of agriculture, Roosegaarde goes on to explain how light can help crops grow more sustainably while meeting humankind’s pursuit of a more desirable future. The light show looks like a field of glowing stars and truly irradiates the imagination.

GROW: art meets science

Roosegaarde is at the vanguard of brightening the future (literally) during one of the most challenging times the modern world has experienced. While physically lighting up the plant photobiology and scientific community, GROW is also a beacon for the beauty of art and environmentalism.


“GROW is the dreamscape which shows the beauty of light and sustainability. Not as a utopia but as a protopia, improving step by step,” Roosegaarde says on the studio’s website.

Roosegaarde’s projects continue to redefine the purpose of art, and he is the beacon of light not only for his home town of Nieuwkoop, but for the urban environmental space as a whole. However, GROW is only the beginning. Studio Roosegaarde writes that GROW is “the first in a series of dreamscapes by Studio Roosegaarde which show the beauty of combining art and science to create a better world.”