GROW: Dutch design studio lights up the future of agriculture

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.

GROW, is the studio’s latest project involving a “light recipe” to help plants grow. Image: Daan Roosegaarde/Press Release.

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.

The project is beautiful but also serves an important purpose. Image: Daan Roosegaarde/Press Release.

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.

A “light recipe” helps the plants to grow and reduces the need for pesticides. Image: Daan Roosegaarde/Press Release.

“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.”

It looks like we have something to look forward to! What do you think of this light project? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below! 

Feature Image: Daan Roosegaarde

Kathryn van den Berg
Kathryn van den Berg
As a Dutchie born in South Africa, Kathryn enjoys writing about the Netherlands from the perspective of having grown up in an entirely different world. Regardless of where she is, Kathryn’s love for dogs remains constant. When not striving to play with or narrate a dog’s every move in public, Kathryn is trying new chocolates to fuel her addiction. Besides critiquing pop culture, art and literature, Kathryn fancies painting Disney side-kicks in watercolour.


  1. Phenomenal breakthrough, the Dutchies leading the way in cool sustainable artsy agricultury project once again!! Whoop whoop!! So cool!


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