We came across the irrepressible duo upon their visit to Tokyo, and was instantly charmed by their talent and forward-thinking in both their creative output and design sensibility. Lonneke Gordijn & Ralph Nauta are Studio Drift, an Amterdam-based creative studio responsible for some of the most fascinating projects you may have seen at Design Miami or Louis Vuitton Tokyo, just to name a few, and are respectively represented by brilliant Carpenters Workshop Gallery in London. They encourage to ”Stay fascinated like a child or a rocket scientist” and this humble perspective is visible in their output considerate of nature and lifestyle. Labour and time is no challenge for the studio, and is in fact embraced and encouraged.

We spoke with them again about their beginnings as Studio Drift, and main inspirations for their supremely original thinking.

DRIFT_Flylight_by Adrien Millot_01
“Nola by studio Drift for Buhtiq31″ 
This is a light we developed for the brand Buhtiq31. It was just launched at the Dutch Design Week last october.


Lonneke & Ralph,
please tell us a little about your backgrounds – how did you come to meet?

We met the first day at school during the introduction camp where for some reason we immediately had a click. Six years later we graduated in the same year from the Design Academy in Eindhoven and after a long and intens friendship we finally admitted that we were in love already for many years.

A year after graduation, we started working together because our ideas and goals had many overlap. I learned Lonneke to see the interesting visions behind science fiction and Lonneke teached me how to look closer to nature. We could do nothing but talk for hours about what was wrong in the world and how we were going to change it. After a while our story’s changed and we started thinking more and more how we could use new technologies and research new production methods. Lonneke was asked to make a love seat, this became our first project together and  Water Web bench was born.

Now everything is so intertwined that we often can’t remember who came up with a specific idea first.

What is your aim or direction for Studio Drift?
The coming period we want to focus on public projects.
And we would like to collaborate more and more with knowledge institutes and universities.

Labour-intensive pieces hold a sense of dedication and stamina, how important is this in your practice?
It is one of the most important features in our work. Without dedication you can never realize something that is worth it.
We can only make works that have never been seen or made.
We all find inspiration and motivation in different places, people and mediums…
Do you have any other artists or designers whose work you particularly admire, and are influenced by?
If so, which work in particular?
Leonardo Da Vinci – helicopter
Do you have a particular place, city, park or museum, that is of a main inspiration?
Japan, because their inspiring culture for perfectionism and inventions and self scarifies for the greater good
What was the most important challenge you faced or lesson you learnt, and through which work
If you want to have a successful business you have to have a strong balance between women and men within your team

What is the main feeling or reaction for viewers, that you are after in your pieces?
[What] we are trying to achieve in the work that we make is to capture these intangible things, or moments, or processes that you see in nature that really are incredible to look at, that you could never get bored of; some kind of universal idea without looking at any fashion or trends. We try these things that are always fascination – I’ll just make an example: like clouds, or raindrops in a spider’s web – all kinds of beautiful, simple things that are all around us and that nobody really watches anymore. We try to capture that in our work. Stay fascinated like a child or a rocket scientist.
You recently visited Japan, what do you think about cross-cultural projects – is the language universal?
Talking about cross-cultural project, we may want to suggest that their are huge differences between cultures.
Every culture is and stays interesting because of their own values and view.
The language of esthetics and inspiration is universal.

Thank you Lonneke & Ralph.

Fly eindhoven final 2

Fly eindhoven final 1

Flylight by Studio Drift, commission for Brainport Development
(This is our fist Flylight with LED (before it was made with Halogen). We created this Flylight for the main hall for the Beta building of the Hi-Tech Campus in Eindhoven. It is also the first Flylight that runs partly on a wall.)

 “Flylight by studio Drift for PAD Paris”
For this Flylight we were commissioned by the Pavilion of Art and Design Paris. We created a Flylight for the entrance of the fair.


 “Flylight by studio Drift for PAD Paris” 
For this Flylight we were commissioned by the Pavilion of Art and Design Paris. We created a Flylight for the entrance of the fair.