Daan Roosegaarde: "People can do what they want with my Crystal installation"

Dezeen and MINI World Tour: Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde explains how his installation in Eindhoven consisting of hundreds of glowing LED crystals will change over time as some people steal them and others create new ones of their own. 

Crystal by Studio Roosegaarde

Crystal is a permanent installation that opened in Eindhoven during Dutch Design Week. It consists of hundreds of wireless LED crystals that light up when placed on the floor.

"The city of Eindhoven commissioned us to think about the future of light, where light gets liberated and jumps out of the lightbulb," Roosegaarde explains. "We developed thousands of little crystals, which have two LEDs in them. The floor has a weak magnetic field and the moment you play with them they light up. No battery, no cable - it's Lego made from light."

Crystal by Studio Roosegaarde

Roosegaarde says that people have already started using the crystals in creative ways.

"People use it to write letters," he says. "We had one lady, her boyfriend proposed to her. It's great to make environments that are open to the influence of people. You can play [with the crystals], you can interact with them, you can share them, you can steal them. And I like it the most because it's an experience you cannot download. You have to go here to experience it. The crystal and the location need each other."

Crystal by Studio Roosegaarde

Roosegaarde will replenish the crystals every month, to replace those that are stolen. He also hopes that students will contribute their own crystal designs.

"We will open source how to make [the crystals] so students can make their own in different colours and shapes," he says. "So Crystal will keep on growing. More crystals will be added, new shapes will arise, I will have nothing to do with that, people can do whatever they want."

He adds: "In that way, it will be an ecosystem of behaviour and I think it's going to be super exciting to see how the design will evolve."

Daan Roosegaarde portrait
Daan Roosegaarde. Copyright: Dezeen

We drove around Eindhoven in our MINI Cooper S Paceman. The music in the movie is a track called Family Music by Eindhoven-based hip hop producer Y'Skid.

You can listen to more music by Y'Skid on Dezeen Music Project and watch more of our Dezeen and MINI World Tour movies here.

Dezeen and MINI World Tour: Eindhoven
Our MINI Paceman in Eindhoven