Born in Breda, the Netherlands in 1978, Simon Heijdens studied conceptual design at the Design Academy Eindhoven, earning his Bachelor’s degree and graduating with honors in 2002. Heijdens established his design studio in Rotterdam in 2002. In 2005, the studio moved to London, where, in addition to his design work, Heijdens also worked as a tutor at the Royal College of Art from 2005 to 2010.
According to Heijdens, his overarching goal is to trace and reveal the overlooked character of the spaces and objects of everyday life. To date, he is arguably best known for his site-specific Lightweeds project (initiated in 2004), a computer-generated, digital ecosystem of plant life projected on interior walls. The plants grow and respond to actual outdoor realities—sunshine, precipitation, and wind—measured by accompanying environmental sensors just beyond their immediate locations. In response to passersby, the plants bend and pollenate. At the time of writing, the series has been exhibited in over 50 museums and public spaces worldwide.
Heijdens’s commissions and collaborations include work for Swarovski Crystal Palace, Droog, Wallpaper Handmade, Gallery Libby Sellers in London, and the Perrier-Jouët space for Design Miami. His works are represented in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York; Museum Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Fonds national d’art contemporain in Paris; and the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.