Waterlicht: An Immersive Environmental Health Experience

Wellness Center Nurse, Cindy, writes about her experience attending the School of the Art's Waterlicht art installation.

Cindy Hsu
November 08, 2019

Ever wonder what it would be like to be immersed under a sea of water, to look around and be covered in a hue of blue?

Visitors of Columbia’s Manhattanville campus had the opportunity to experience a virtual flood via art installation titled Waterlicht. The instillation was sponsored by Columbia University’s School of the Arts and remained open from Oct 22-24.


Waterlicht, a large-scale laser-projected light installation by Dutch artist and innovator Daan Roosegaarde, took place outside of the Jerome L. Greene Science Center’s piazza square. The Waterlicht, which translates to “water light,” symbolized the flood and high rise of water levels causative of climate change. The LED and laser lights complement one another to form the quality of waves splashed along the building’s walls.

Roosegaarde admits that the thought of being flooded can be scary.

“I hope it makes people curious about the future world in which we're not scared of the water, but actually trying to learn from it and trying to live with it in a new way."

This focus on water highlights not only the importance of water or the power but also its scarcity.