Energy-generating ‘smart kites’ produce luminous green energy

Winning the 2018 Design Project of the Year and Lighting Design Dezeen Awards, Daan Roosegaarde's ‘Windvogel’ is an array of green light which slices through the Dutch sky as if some sort of supernatural entity has arrived at Earth.

Having previously created renowned interdisciplinary designs which question energy efficiency and material use, including ‘Glowing Nature’ and ‘Van Gogh Path’,  Roosegaarde's latest project, Windvogel, continues this theme by reimagining a new connection between energy generation and design.

With its elegant lime-green strip, Windvogel first appeared illuminating the night sky above the Netherlands’s ‘Afsluitdijk’, a 32-kilometre long dyke, which protects the area against flooding. Floating in the atmosphere, Roosegaarde's energy-generating kites are connected to a ‘ground station’ by a cable, and as the cable moves, the technology transforms the motion into electricity. The process is similar to a dynamo of a bicycle and can supply approximately 100 kilowatts of electricity for up to 200 households.

Launched as part of Icoon Afsluitdijk – a design innovation programme commissioned by the Dutch Government – Windvogel highlights the importance of water protection and preserving the heritage of Afsluitdijk which is currently modelled as a ‘smart landscape’ for future water preservation. After its Afsluitdijk residency, Windvogel is now a travelling project and Roosegaarde is currently developing new iterations of it. 

To learn more about the Windvogel, visit Roosegaarde's website, and watch 32KM, a documentary following Roosengaarde and his studio in making the project.

Words by Anna Marks

All image credits: Studio Roosegaarde

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