Virtual Flood LED Display by Daan Roosegaarde
The Netherlands has a long history with water. With almost a third of the country being below sea level and 26% of the country at risk from floods from rivers, the country has become one of the world’s foremost authorities in water management and flood defences. The local water authority in Westervoort, a town in eastern Netherlands, gave designer Daan Roosegaarde the task of creating a virtual flood. Bounded by two rivers, Westervoort is at constant risk of flooding. Studio Roosegaarde put together a unique flooding LED display that’s set across four acres. It’s designed to visualise what would happen if water authority allowed the land to flood.
The piece intended to represent the “beauty, but also the danger of water”, Roosegaarde said of his installation. By setting up blue LED lights behind lenses in black boxes around the edge of a floodplain, waves of blue light can be projected overhead across the field. Wind blowing off the river adds to the sense of momentum and as dust moves through the light it enhances the effect of the floating blue light.
The LED display installation looks so realistic, local residents called the emergency services when it was originally set up thinking a dike had broken and the area was flooding.