Astronaut’s view of Amsterdam from a boat.

Designed and developed for Amsterdam Light Festival 2017-2018

The Idea

Astronauts who have seen the earth in the midst of space, experience first-hand the fragility of life on earth. With the light art installation in Amsterdam VOUW brings this feeling to people on earth.

City Gazing Amsterdam shows the city as if you’re looking out of an airplane window by night. This moment gives the spectator a feeling of both grandeur and humbleness.

Astronauts experience this feeling even more extreme. Every astronaut who sees the earth floating in the vastness of space, experiences the ‘overview effect’, a mental shift of awareness how fragile life on earth is. When they return to earth they they feel compelled to commit themselves to a sustainable future.


The Amsterdam light installation was commissioned by Amsterdam Light Festival. The design had to be rethought because the work would hang above the famous Dutch canals. The updated design resulted in a grid made of aluminium and LED lights, spanning 324m2 and weighing 145kg. The light installation is launched at the Amsterdam Light Festival on 30 November 2017, together with the works of international artists that include Ai Wei Wei.


City Gazing Amsterdam
Lightbox Edition

We created a small version of City Gazing Amsterdam to hang on your wall at home.

When the Lightbox Edition is turned on it shows Amsterdam’s light footprint at night. When it is turned off, the phosphorus paint coating shows the starry sky behind all this light.


Our team


Mingus Vogel



Justus Bruns



Simon Luitse

Construction lead

Jan Truijens Martinez