This lamp uses ultraviolet light to sanitize public spaces in minutes

Back in January, we wrote about a new 20,000 square meter outdoor light installation from the Rotterdam-based Studio Roosegaarde that is meant to make outdoor agriculture even more sustainable while dually turning crop fields into a work of art. 

Today, we bring you the latest design from Studio Roosegaarde: a lamp called Urban Sun that uses ultraviolet radiation to sanitize outdoor spaces. With Urban Sun, Studio Roosegaarde hopes to make public gatherings possible again in the Netherlands and other places around the world.

“We can make places up to 99.9 percent virus-free in minutes, depending on weather and location, so the chance of getting sick or infecting each other is strongly diminished,” said founder Daan Roosegaarde.

Launched this year, the lamp can be hung up above a public space and uses a type of ultraviolet light called far-UVC that Roosegaarde claims can sanitize the air beneath the lamp within two minutes. A report from the science journal Nature, published in 2020, suggests otherwise, claiming it would take up to 11.5 minutes for far-UVC light to destroy up to 99.9 percent of airborne coronavirus particles. Nonetheless, Urban Sun could help make locations such as train stations, schools, and public plazas safer.

“The goal is not to say that we don’t need the vaccine or that we don’t need masks,” said Roosegaarde. “Urban Sun doesn’t cure coronavirus, but it does allow social gatherings to be safer.”

In the future, Roosegaarde hopes to take Urban Sun to events such as the Olympic Games, Burning Man Festival, and other large-scale fairs and gatherings.

“Big cultural events are crucial to our culture, but right now we are surrounded by plastic barriers and distance stickers, and we’re trapped in our Zoom screens,” Roosegaarde told Dezeen. “We need to design our new normal because if we are not the architects of our future we are its victims.”

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