My following article below was originally published by SERIOUS WONDER:
Everywhere you go, whether you’re walking, biking, or driving, you’re releasing energy as you’re contacting the ground. The result of this kinetic energy is, essentially, nothing. There’s nothing really positive when the energy is released. So why not improve it?
This question in particular was answered by Dutch artist and innovator Daan Roosegaarde, who is also the founder of social design lab Studio Roosegaarde. By attaching springs in between tiles, which are then connected to a generator, when someone steps on and off a tile, the spring’s motion creates energy for the generator to use for other purposes, like street lights, phone poles, or as Daan envisioned, Sustainable Dance Floors.
These dance floors are already commercialized and being used by dancers around the world, most notably those dancing at the Sustainable Dance Club in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
With Daan Roosegaarde’s design, clubs are now using this technology to not only create energy for the club itself, but to create interactive entertainment for the dancers – from the LED lights on the floors to a digitally-displayed battery on the wall that tells them how much energy has been accumulated. But the greatest potential of this technology isn’t on the dance floor, but on our roads, sidewalks, floors at schools, shops, and homes.
Imagine walking into a store and each step you make, each piece of energy you contribute for the store, is then transferred back as store credit for the customer. Or perhaps the lights on the side of the road are generated as cars are driving by. What other possible scenarios can you think of in which this technology can be applied?