Beautiful things happen when art meets science. Like Franchise Freedom, an installation of 300 drone birds swarming above Amsterdam waters, created by by Studio Drift. Feeling spontaneous? TONIGHT is the last show!

Full disclosure: We have a crush on Amsterdam based, Studio Drift. The duo was established in 2006 by Lonneke Gordijn (b. 1980, Alkmaar, Netherlands) and Ralph Nauta (b. 1978, Swindon, United Kingdom), who attended the Design Academy Eindhoven together.

Studio Drift explores the relationship between nature, technology, and humankind in site-specific installations and interactive sculptures. Their groundbreaking work comes to life through ongoing collaborations with scientists, university departments, and research facilities, computer programmers and engineers. We salute their interdisciplinary approach and believe that cross-polination between industries offer solutions to some of the challenges that the future holds.  


Franchise Freedom is a flying art installation composed of 300 illuminated drones. Look up quick though  because on 10, 11 en 12 Augustus you will be able to see them dancing like a flock of birds in the air above the Ij.

For ten years Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta from Studio Drift have been studying the flight patterns of starlings moving in a swarm. Fascinated by the movements whereby freedom and at the same time limitations of the individual birds within the swarm alternate, the artists developed an algorithm that can make autonomous choices. In this way they could eventually imitate these movements by translating them into software that was specially developed and embedded in the luminous drones.

“By trying to understand and use nature instead of going against it, we can achieve much more in the field of technology. For example, human applications can provide improvements and not pollution.” Ralph Nauta, Studio Drift

The artists learned that imitating the natural behaviour of a flock of birds results in a kind of harmony that works for many individuals at once. For example, the decentralized management of a swarm or group can offer multiple solutions in our society such as self-driving cars or the regulation of groups of people in shared spaces such as train stations.

"The swarm as an autonomous organism expresses freedom, while the individual birds have to adhere to strict rules in order not to fly against each other. The resulting image is a wonderful translation of how we live together as people and look for our own place inside or outside society.” Lonneke Gordijn, Studio Drift

Visitors will have an extraordinary immersive experience incorporating light and movement in the airspace over the river with the skyline of Amsterdam as a backdrop.

Location: The installation is free and can be seen from locations around the river IJ, Amsterdam
Times: August 10 – 12, 2018, from 9.30 PM

Read the original press article here.