Many of Studio Roosegaarde’s projects use colors, but they don’t have to mean anything. Social design is the main point for Studio Roosegaarde. Colors are the foreplay of the installation. The point is actually interactive technology, where their installations react to the behavior of the people that see and touch the installations. Color change is merely a result of the interaction of their art with the surroundings. The installations are reacting to our presence, making our surroundings more humane. Changes in colors signal movement and interaction between the audience and the installations. The more interaction there is, the more intense the interaction is, the colors will change more as well. Generally blue is used for low interactions levels and as these levels rise the color will change up to red, which signifies that there is a lot of interaction between the audience and the installations. (Photo’s courtesy of Studio Roosegaarde).
Sensor Valley (main photo and below), recently unveiled at the new cultural centre in Assen The Netherlands, is a prime example of the studio’s work. Locals are already referring to this piece as the ‘hugging pillars’ as the pillars react when they’re hugged.
Although blue and red are reasonably traditional colors to use for a state of rest or a state of high activity, Studio Roosegaarde doesn’t use colors for the meaning or associations. In the future this may change. The signalling power of colors is very strong and will be used in several experimental projects Studio Roosegaarde will have in store for us over the next few years. This could be color of paint on cars, or using colors to express the quality of roads when they are slippery or very busy. Studio Roosegaarde is currently using predominantly led-lights. The choices in colors is still restricted as the necessary software isn’t completely developed yet, but as they learn more they will overcome several restrictions and be able to use more colors. This learning process also enables them to improve on past works. They are also experimenting with lasers for their hard lines and prisms for their natural colors as well.
Above and below is the Marbles project in London, where the marbles respond to peoples touch and proximity. This generates changes in sound and color. The marbles also interact with each other making the entire installation reactive to human presence.
Below is Studio Roosegaarde’s Sustainable Dance Floor made in 2008 for the Sustainable Dance Club. The motion of the dancers is absorbed by the panels, generating electricity to power the lights in the floor.