Glowing Nature

Glowing Nature

Glowing Nature

GLOWING NATURE is an interactive and mysterious experience with light emitting algae. As one of the oldest microorganisms in the world they light up for an extended period of time when perfectly maintained. The site-specific installation enables visitors to magically interact with the algae that glow upon their steps, combining nature and technology to make a statement about the future of light.

GLOWING NATURE shows the beauty of nature through a unique encounter between man, biology and technology. It provides a mysterious experience with live bioluminescent algae as new building blocks for our future of food, fuel and light. Following an intensive period of research and design Studio Roosegaarde has created the perfect conditions for visitors to experience the magic of nature and its potential for a better future.

GLOWING NATURE is a travelling site-specific installation. It was launched as part of ICOON AFSLUITDIJK, the design innovation program commissioned by the Dutch Government which enhances the innovative character of the legendary 32 kilometer Dutch dike whilst highlighting its key functions: water protection & heritage, energy and mobility as an exemplary model of a smart landscape for today and tomorrow.

The Afsluitdijk is the 32 kilometer long dike which protects the Netherlands against water and flooding. Built mostly by hand and realized in 1932 it is an engineering highlight of the Netherlands and a unique place in the world. After 85 years, the Afsluitdijk is now in need of a thorough renovation. The Dutch state with the surrounding municipalities and provinces have joined forces to lead an ambitious programme to protect the future of the dike. As part of the programme, Roosegaarde's ICOON AFSLUITDIJK enhances the iconic status of the Afsluitdijk with a layer of light and interaction. The three designs developed by Daan Roosegaarde and his team of designers and engineers are entitled GATES OF LIGHT, WINDVOGEL and GLOWING NATURE, which form a model of a green landscape.


2017-2018. Installation of 20 to 50 m2 of light emitting algae in custom polymer shell as a living colony.

GLOWING NATURE was first exhibited as part of ICOON AFSLUITDIJK at the Friesland bunker on the Afsluitdijk and attracted thousands of visitors. The installation is now travelling to exhibitions around the world. The documentary 32 KM follows Daan Roosegaarde and his team in the making of this project. At the same time, Studio Roosegaarde is continuing its research programme and is developing designs for GLOWING NATURE as organic street lighting of the future. 

Made in collaboration with Daan Roosegaarde and his Studio Roosegaarde, The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, Rijkswaterstaat, Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, De Nieuwe Afsluitdijk, Province of Friesland, Province of North Holland. Development Partners: KitePower, Wageningen University & Research (WUR), TTB, Biopop, Eurocarbon, Versalume.


The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, and De Nieuwe Afsluitdijk.

Selected Exhibitions



Press Release

Glowing Nature at Centre Pompidou
Glowing Nature at Centre Pompidou
Our Glowing Nature movie is exhibited at Centre Pompidou till 15 April 2019. The exhibition "La Fabrique du Vivant" presents the most significant innovations in the fields of design, including Studio Roosegaarde.
How To Change The World lecture with The New York Times
How To Change The World lecture with The New York Times
The How To Change The World conference in collaboration with The New York Times will give a panoramic view of the future, including a lecture by Daan Roosegaarde on December 6 in London.
Glowing Nature great success
Icoon Afsluitdijk has attracted thousands of visitors including Glowing Nature which is fully booked the coming days. Visit us next week or reserve your free ticket via 0620571124 between 19.00-22.00. Due to the many requests a delay in response can be possible. More information: