Photo: Studio Drift

Beating Heart Made of Drones Lit Up the Skies Over Rotterdam

by Dayana Aleksandrova May 6, 2020

Last night in Rotterdam, 300 drones formed a display of a beating heart, lighting up the sky in honor of healthcare workers. The heart was the grand finale of the 15-minute drone light installation called Franchise Freedom, by Studio Drift and in cooperation with Mothership.

The show marked the 75th anniversary of Liberation Day, the official end of Nazi occupation in the Netherlands. The location of the event was kept secret, to avoid public gatherings and adhere to social distancing guidelines. The show was broadcast live via Facebook and streamed on Dezeen Magazine’s Virtual Design Festival.

Studio Drift’s Franchise Freedom debuted in 2017 with the mission to “explore the relationship between man, nature, and technology.” The art installation uses hundreds of autonomously flying drones based on a biological algorithm and modeled after starlight’s flight behavior.

And the show could not come at a more welcome time. A recent study on the benefits that contact with nature has on our physiological well-being determined that stargazing has the power to significantly reduce stress and improve our mood in general.

“COVID-19 makes it abundantly clear that we as people depend on each other. The future only has value if we can rebuild this, together and sustainably, based on a greater, collective interest,” Studio Drift co-founder Ralph Nauta said in an official press release. After a two-month lockdown, the Netherlands is preparing to slowly reopen, beginning with primary schools set to resume on May 11.

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