CLADmag issue4 2019

Page 5


I N PR A ISE OF V ISIONA R I E S about the serious plight of our planet, we also need visionaries to bring

innovative, fun and positive solutions to


the table, argues Magali Robathan

n this issue we interview Dutch designer and inventor


While we need activists to raise awareness

Daan Roosegaarde. I’ve been following Roosegaarde’s work for many years. I love how he thinks big and uses

technology to come up with fun, original and beautiful projects that raise awareness of climate change and propose solutions for a cleaner and brighter future.

From his sustainable dance floor (which converts the

pressure from people dancing into electricity to power the nightclub’s lighting and DJ booth) to his project that turns air pollution into jewellery, these are ideas that aim to get people talking. We’re living through worrying times,

Bjarke Ingels believes sustainable design should make our lives better

for around 30,000 households in Copenhagen and central heating for 72,000 households

while also offering an exciting new leisure

there’s no doubt about that. We

destination, because, well – why not?

need people like Greta Thunberg to

On a personal level I’m trying to

highlight the seriousness of the climate

adopt this approach. As a family, we’ve

emergency we’re facing so that we can

pledged to avoid flying as much as

make big changes on governmental

and personal levels, but we also need

people to bring hope and fun and positive

solutions to the table. As Roosegaarde has said

in the past, “We have an obligation to be positive.” “If I didn’t work like this, I’d go crazy

because it’s very confusing how the world is behaving right now,” he tells CLAD.

“We can blame somebody else and sit in a corner waiting

for our leaders to fix things, or we can say we’ve created this

possible. Instead of being sad about the

opportunities this cuts out, we’re thinking

of the new adventures it might bring... a

rail trip to Morocco? More holidays closer to

home? We’ve recently moved house and instead of

ripping out the kitchen and buying mountains of new

things, we’re trying to find ways to adapt what’s already here to our style. Constraints are where creativity really comes into play, and the challenge can be inspiring. Roosegaarde believes Dutch pragmatism comes

situation so let’s design a way out of it. I prefer to spend my

partly from the fact that as a nation they’ve lived

optimistic, and more about seeing that there’s no alternative.”

a serious constraint! “We use design and creative

time and energy on the second scenario. It’s less about being With his concept of ‘hedonistic sustainability,’ BIG

founder Bjarke Ingels argues that sustainable design should improve our lives rather than force us to give up the things we love. On p78 we report on the opening of CopenHill,

where a waste-to-energy plant is providing clean electricity

+44 (0)1462 431385


below sea level for more than 1,000 years. That’s thinking to create our own home, so in a way,

innovation is in the DNA of our landscape,” he says.

All hail the visionaries. We need to bring hope to the future.

Magali Robathan, managing editor, CLAD