At the helm of Studio Roosegaarde, a team of over 20 engineers, designers, and other creatives based in a Rotterdam studio he calls the Dream Factory, Daan Roosegaarde is working to create environmentally pure and aesthetically pleasing everyday solutions to the problems arising from climate change.
You may have heard of the studio’s internationally acclaimed Smog Free project, for which they’ve created the world’s largest vacuum tower to convert smog into clear air in Beijing. What’s more, they’re using the carbon-rich smog to make jewelry.
“We live in a world where we’re feeding our dreams and hopes into a virtual cloud—be it WeChat, Weibo, Twitter, Facebook—but the physical world is sort of crashing around us, and almost nobody cares about it,” says Roosegaarde. To counter, the 37-year-old multihyphenate—his many hats include artist, designer, architect, inventor, and entrepreneur—has found a new niche, or “a new playground,” at the intersection of environmental concerns and creativity.