Ralph Nauta + Lonneke Gordijn  Obsidian  by Jaap Scheeren groot

“We become what we see, so let’s look at the beauty of light”. With this motto, members of the Dutch design studio Drift invited all art lovers to enjoy their light installations, in Belgrade on October 9th. At the Brand New World conference, which is the central part of the Belgrade Design Week festival, member of the studio Ralph Nauta presented projects which walk the thin line between art and design thanks to the support from Stimuleringsfonds and the Netherlands Embassy, in association with the EU Delegation to Serbia. In addition to the lecture, Studio Drift had an exhibition as a part of the DesignPark program.


Studio Drift was founded in 2006 by Ralph Nauta and Lonneke Gordijn, both graduates of the renowned Design Academy Eindhoven (NL). Their philosophy is based on creating a dialogue between opposites: nature and technology, knowledge and intuition, science fiction and nature. Studio Drift draw its inspiration from nature as a starting point, both in a formal and a philosophical way, while the creative process is fuelled by innovative techniques. Light is a key element in their work, but is always treated as an artistic ingredient rather than a functional tool to illuminate.


  • We hope our work stresses the metaphysical quality of human emotions, makes balance between the contradictions of everyday life and puts emphasis on intangible, spiritual and emotional values, said Ralph and Lonneke.


Studio Drift’s best known projects include “Fragile Future III”, “Flylight”, and the collection of chairs with light elements, called the “Ghost Collection”. Their work has been exhibited at leading museums and fairs worldwide, such as the Victoria & Albert Museum, London (GB), Salone del Mobile, Milan (IT), World Expo Shanghai (CN), Design Basel, Miami (US), Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam (NL), M.A.D. New York (US), The Israel Museum (IL), Design Days Dubai (UAE), and La Biennale di Venezia (IT). This selection perfectly illustrates how Studio Drift is critically acclaimed in the fields of fine arts and design alike.


  • Always believe in the impossible. Never stick to what is already done. It will make your life extremely challenging. You must lead infinite battles and work like crazy, but it’s worth it. Coming up with un idea is the hardest, but the most important thing you can do. Never follow trends. Make your own trend, said the Drift studio artists.

studio drift


Ralph, Lonneke and their team create custom made installations for both private collectors as well as leading corporate art collections. Studio Drift’s reputation has been proven by numerous awards: ‘Light of the Future’ from the German Council, ‘The Moët Hennessy – Pavilion of Art and Design London Prize’ and 1st prize at the ZomerExpo, Gemeentemuseum in The Hague… Their  “Fragile Future” installation is a part of the collection of Victoria & Albert Museum in London.


Luxury is being able to do what you love without any stress…Not because of fortune or power, only in order to give your greatest contribution to society, says Ralph.


Since light is one of their most important means of expression, at the Belgrade Design Week, Ralph and Lonneke explained to their audience how light expresses emotions in a very direct way.


  • We’ve heard a lot of great things about the festival from designers who participated in the past, so Studio Drift is very honored by this invitation to participate. Coming to BDW also gives us a chance to explore the possibilities and potentials of a region that is unknown to us. Drift expects a lot from Belgrade and Serbia! We’ve heard that Belgrade has an interesting culture and young people who work hard to put their city on a European cultural map. Ralph would like to discover an underground art scene and find some hidden gems, says Lonneke.



BELGRADE DESIGN WEEK 2014This year’s Belgrade Design Week took place from the 6th to the 11th October. The central part of the event, the famous international conference Brand New World, ninth in a row, was held on the 9th, 10th and 11th of October. The festival included an exhibition program: BDW Dizajn Park pavilion, BDW professional workshops, DizajnLabs and traditionally, 100% Future Serbia Project for the fourth time.Speakers from over 20 countries, working in various creative industries, spoke at the Brand New World Conference: Massimiliano Fuksas, Zuzanna Skalska, Michel Rojkind, Tom Strala, Christian Kerez, Nicolas le Moigne, Guido Woska / Designit, IdoGarini / Studio Appetit, Gavrilo Bozovic / restons-serieux, Igor Kordey, Irena Kilibarda, Milos  Dimčić, Kim Herforth Nielsen / 3XN, etc.For the first time since its foundation, Belgrade Design Week 2014 was held under the high patronage of the President ofthe Republic of Serbia and the Mayor of Belgrade, the EU Delegation to Serbia, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia, with the support of embassies and institutions from Japan, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, Mexico,India and Israel.