November29 , 2021

‘Grow’ by Daan Roosegaarde is a marvel on sustainable farming

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DUBAI, UAE. Today, on the occasion of World Food Day, the Embassy and the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in UAE, in collaboration with Tashkeel, hosted an exclusive screening of GROW (the film) followed by a lecture by internationally renowned Dutch designer and innovator Daan Roosegaarde at the Netherlands Pavilion, Expo 2020 Dubai. 

The Netherlands Pavilion, located at the Sustainability District at Expo 2020 Dubai, is open to visitors until 31 March 2022. The pavilion has a giant green food cone known as the ‘Biotope’ as the centre of attraction. The vertical farm is covered with edible plants and irrigated with the harvested water from the air using innovative Dutch technologies. With these high-tech advancements in offering, the pavilion aims to be a true platform for sustainability and circularity initiatives thereby, enabling visitors to experience the Netherlands’ expertise in uniting water, energy and food. Dutch businesses, knowledge institutions and civil society organisations have specific knowledge and proficiency in these fields and can therefore, play a key role in finding solutions that contribute to a more sustainable planet. Possessing a naturally controlled climate, the pavilion’s structure is constructed using locally sourced materials that will be recycled after Expo period, minimizing its ecological footprint. 

Roosegaarde’s artwork GROW is an homage to the beauty and importance of agriculture. Red and blue lights wash like waves over an enormous field surrounded by darkness. It is inspired by science exploring how certain ‘recipes’ of light can improve plant growth and resilience. It consists of a design-based light recipe which shines vertically across 20,000 m2 of farmland.  “GROW is the dreamscape which shows the beauty of light and sustainability. Not as a utopia but as a protopia, improving step by step” says artist Daan Roosegaarde.

The light is poetic, and 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 percent. 

Lody Embrechts, Ambassador of the Netherlands Embassy in UAE comments : “Food security is a significant focus topic for both the UAE & the Netherlands. It is essential that our team together make real progress in evolving sustainable innovations in agricultural field. In association with Tashkeel, we are very happy to have Daan Roosegaarde at the Netherlands Pavilion. Designed as a biotope, the pavilion is filled with sustainable solutions that addresses globally challenging issues. Daan’s film ‘GROW’ positively highlights the importance of modernization in the agriculture system and with advanced technology crops can be grown more sustainably, efficiently.” 

Roosegaarde and his team of designers and experts developed GROW over two years, informed by expert knowledge sessions at Studio Roosegaarde, Wageningen University & Research, Springtij Forum, and the World Economic Forum in Davos. This lightshow on an agricultural field, not only celebrates nature but is also a tribute to the efforts of farmers who is considered as heroes It 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.

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