Studio Drift



Lonneke:What's the point in putting another 300,000 lamps on the market? I don't want to make that. I want to make something that gives you another thing. Not only light, but that brings you another value, and an emotional value.

Ralph:Yeah, but it's not even a light that you are making because the LEDs are Altrom, or Philips, or whatever, and what do you make? Some kind of housing, who cares, you know? It's not interesting. So for us it's always about, what's behind the story, the research, and not so much about the functionality. I really hate to make something functional.

Lonneke:My name is Lonneke Gordijn, and together with Ralph Nauta, we founded Studio Drift in 2007. And along the way that we started working together, we found out actually what our work is about. I mean, when you just graduate you don't really know what you're looking for, and slowly, we found out that all the time we make the same choices.

We love space, we like to have an influence on space, and we like ephemeral qualities that are not really the physical object itself, but the way—how something moves, how something gives you an emotion and a feeling. And usually those things are natural components of elements that we're interested in and that we're trying to figure out by making it. Basically, making it again and trying to see how it works, and actually that's also what technology is, so our work works a lot with technology.

Technology as Magic


Ralph:Yeah, but technology comes from the idea of science fiction. Science fiction is in a sense... I mean it has a very strong link to fantasy, to magic. But I mean you just keep working on, towards that kind of magic, and then at a certain point it becomes reality.

Lonneke:But what I also like is that if people like—it's a very simple thing that we glue those dandelion seeds on a LED light. You have this, you have that, and you glue it together. It's a very simple logic, but what happen[ed] was, you put them together [and] there is also some sort of magic, because suddenly you don't believe it anymore. And how simple those two things separately are also. So I really like it still when people think that some of the work that we make have an element of magic, or disbelief, or they cannot believe how we made that.

Ralph:I mean you look at a dandelion in your garden, everybody describes it as a weed. You pick it, you put it on a pedestal, [in] a museum. Everybody goes like, "Oh my god! So amazing, it's like a real dandeli—is it real? Yeah, it's a real dandelion!" It's just so weird how people look and just... shows how everything is about presentation, contrast, relevance.

Crafting the Impossible


Lonneke:We try to make things that we think are impossible—we try to make it possible. So maybe it takes away the magic if you make something possible. But not all technology that you need is possible to get in a beautiful way, or is part of the concept; for instance with "Drifter".

I think that it is really important that you see something you can relate to, that you know, that does function in a complete different way.

Ralph:No, it's better, to not understand how that piece works.

Lonneke:We want to create things that are not possible yet, or show an idea or concept that we would love to be. And we try to get it out there and to make it, that is also the message and the ideas behind the work Drifter. To go from that science fiction idea of concrete, then have a world full of concrete and then make the concrete float, which is still impossible. It makes you look [at it] completely different[ly]; that concrete becomes a science fiction idea again, and then that whole circle interests us endlessly.

Ralph:And the piece, like you said, the piece is just about you know, getting in touch with it. And seeing something you can't imagine and then wanting to dream again, and showing you just should dream as crazy and as impossible as you can. And come up with just, ideas, and at some time in the future it might be the foundation of our society.