Joris Laarman Lab, Half Life Lamp, 2010, Glass, cobalt chrome, genetically modified CHO cells.

Katharina Mischer 1982 and Thomas Traxler 1981, Idea for a Tree, Various materials, Photo: mischer’traxler.

New Experiments in the Field of Sustainable Energy Design

studio DRIFT. Fragile Future 3, 2009, Phosphorus bronze, dandelion puffs, LEDs.




Museum Boijmans
Museumpark 18-20
+ (010) 441-9400
New energy in design and art
October 15, 2011-February 26, 2012

For several decades artists and designers have been creating futuristic visions of a sustainable society. These innovative future visions are becoming increasingly relevant. There is clearly a great need for a new balance in our living environment. In the exhibition New Energy in Design and Art Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen presents numerous innovative experiments in the field of sustainable energy.

Artists, designers and progressive thinks play a pioneering role in raising awareness about our relationship with energy. The exhibition contains surprising, strange and unimaginable objects and sculptures. Some are poetic, alienating or ingenious; all are relevant and innovative.

Fireflies and self-propelling machines
The exhibition includes machines by Gerrit van Bakel (1943-1984) that run on energy derived from the differences in temperature between day and night. The Half Life Lamp by Joris Laarman (1979) consists partly of living organic material and emits light without added energy. Chinese hamster cells have been genetically modified with the bioluminescent genes of a firefly, allowing the lamp to glow by itself.

Future of mankind
Sustainable energy plays a central role in the designs of the Austrian duo mischer’traxler. In the project ‘The idea of a tree’ they produced a series of stools based on the energy of a single day of sunlight. The machine begins working at sunrise and completes production of the stool at sunset. Each day results in a different colour pattern and format.

The British duo Dunne & Raby are exhibiting 3D models, photographs and videos that show possible solutions to the problems of feeding an overpopulated planet. They have designed fodder machines that ynthetically harvest nutritional value from inedible plants and trees.

Interplay between art and science
The interaction between art and science often leads to stimulating and innovative solutions, such as Joris Laarman’s lamp. Collaborations between scientists and artists can bring about new insights. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen is exhibiting surprising examples by artists and designers who are providing unusual and inventive solutions to global questions. They include Atelier NL, the duo Auger-Loizeau, Paul Cocksedge, Philippe Rahm, Bertjan Pot, John Körmeling, Oskar de Kiefte, Eric Klaarenbeek, Mike Thompson, Panamarenko and Jeroen Verhoeven.

Demonstrations, videos and guided tours
Many of the designs and objects require explanation or demonstration. In the exhibition videos show what the designer or artist envisions or how the objects work in reality. This series of videos will be posted on from 15 October.

The exhibition is made possible with the support of Eneco and BankGiro Loterij.

Jeroen Verhoeven, Virtue of Blue, 2010, 502 solar silicon cell panels, hand blown glass bulb, steel, aluminium, 150 x 110 x 110 cm, Courtesy Jeroen Verhoeven and Blain|Southern, London, Photo: Bas Helbers.