Daan Roosegaarde on creating techno poetry

“I’m a hippie with a business plan”, says artist and innovator Daan Roosegaarde on his approach to design, making what he calls “techno poetry”.

From the Series

Interested in the future of design, much of Daan Roosegaarde’s work is concerned with merging innovation and imagination, looking specifically at what happens when technology goes beyond the computer screen. As such, he invited the audience at Design Indaba Conference 2013 on a “safari tour” of proposals of a possible future work.

Roosegaarde’s work creates intuitive environments where reality is no longer static, but rather an extension of who we are. His Dune project serving as a primary example of this thinking.

Sustainability and interactivity is the new default, Roosegaarde believes, as is group work. In his own studio collaboration is an important part of the way he works, with his team including engineers, scientists, fashion designers and others.

While much of his work centres around some form of technology, Roosegaarde says it’s not about the tech, but rather about the stories it generates. Tech is just the tool, it’s about what we do with it, he believes. Tactility is another important consideration for Roosegaarde, as well as projects that show what a new world could look like.

The Smart Highway is one such example, whereby a variety of smart energy, adaptable road signs, interactive lights and dynamic paint make roads safer and more energy efficient.

The Intimacy Dress, meanwhile, is a way to “mix business with pleasure”, Roosegaarde chuckles. The dress works as a second skin of information by going transparent in relation with the wearer’s heartbeat.

Roosegaarde is also an advocate of sharing (“the new caring”) and believes that sharing ideas and information is especially important in a time when so many of our resources are under threat. 

Watch the Interview with Daan Roosegaarde