Though Vincent Van Gogh died before his 38th birthday, his collection of bold, colorful, and emotive artwork has ensured his legacy lived on well after he was gone, and not just for Art History majors. One of van Gogh’s most famous paintings, “Starry Night”, inspired Studio Roosegarde to design an illuminated bike path linking sites from the artist’s life.
Spearheaded by Daan Roosegarde, the twinkling bike path uses LEDs charged by a nearby solar panel setup as well as light-absorbing paint to create what Roosegarde calls “techno poetry.” Roosegarde is also responsible for a plan to paint highways with a similar glowing paint in the place of traditional street lamps. In addition to being easier on the eyes, it is also a lot less energy-intensive, saving money and lowering emissions as well. While practical, Roosegarde’s latest project is decidedly more artsy in nature.
In fact, the opening of the illuminated bike path represents official beginning of the van Gogh 2015 international theme year, with the kilometer-long path placed in Nuenen, where the artist lived from 1883 to 1885. It’s also home to the van Gogh Village, where you can literally follow in the footsteps of the Post-Impressionist painter, who I am sure would approve of this project. As for Roosegarde, he is challenging our notion of what a highway has to be as he workers to create smarter and more efficient pathways to move people and goods. Europe is home to some of the most complex and creative bike-only highways in the world, challenging the tradition of car ownership by offering a cheaper, healthier, and practical alternative.
These create bike paths are also helluva lot prettier to look at than mile after endless mile of utilitarian asphalt and streetlamps.