Have you hear about a solar powered bicycle path that absorbs energy during day and glows during night? It is called the Van Gogh-Roosegaarde bicycle path and is made of thousands of twinkling stones that charge during the day and glow at night. It is inspired by the painting of Van Gogh called ‘Starry Night’ and is located in Brabant, a Dutch Province and the place where Vincent Van Gogh lived about 125 years ago. Take a look at the picture below.
Image Source: Studio Roosegarde
The path has been jointly developed by Roosegaarde and Heijmans and demonstrates an amazing confluence of technology and art. Roosegaarde describes it as techno-poetry and who can disagree with it. What a way to start the Van Gogh 2015 international theme year – a fitting tribute to the post-impressionist painter!
As eLearning developers, we need to imbibe such techno-poetry into our work and I feel this project is inspiring in many ways.
The twinkling pebbles could have been arranged in any manner but the inspiration was drawn from “Starry nights” of Van Gogh as a tribute to the painter who lived there years ago. Automatically, the significance of the place is augmented. The place now has tourist significance with a piece of history attached to it. The project is viewed in the context of the cultural history of the place and certainly resonates better with people.
Similarly, eLearning developers need to be such artists and designers, who give shape to raw content, which is akin to the twinkling pebbles, and arrange them in the context of their target audience so that they identify and assimilate it better. Ultimately, the content has to be relevant and appealing to the learners in the context of their jobs.
Perfect blend of technology and design
The bicycle path is an excellent example of how technology with smart paints, energy harvesting, sensors and other media were perfectly blended with the concepts and design by Studio Roosegaarde. There is a lot that one can do with the authoring tools and multimedia elements in an eLearning course, but if the course does not warrant it, it should not be used as it might distract the learners from the essential. E-learning developers need to use authoring tools, audio and visual elements, graphics to create an eLearning course, where the focus on output overshadows the technology that has gone to build it. That is the effect that an eLearning course should provide to its end users!
Creative blend of technology and design can create beautiful eLearning courses just as the solar powered bicycle path in the Dutch province of Brabant. What are your thoughts about this interesting project and do you think there are other ways eLearning developers can get inspired from this? Do share your thoughts.