Virtual Design Festival

Coronavirus is an opportunity to create "a new economic model" says Lonneke Gordijn

Creative people thrive in difficult situations and can use the coronavirus pandemic to explore new ways to add value, says designer Lonneke Gordijn of Studio Drift in a video message recorded for Virtual Design Festival.

"How can we use [coronavirus] to transform into a new economic model or a new political model?" the Studio Drift co-founder questioned. "How can we transform businesses from trying to increase in money to increase in value?"

In her video message, filmed while out walking in Amstelveen, the Netherlands, Gordijn added that while businesses have to stay afloat financially, the main purpose creatives strive towards is to add value through their work.

"Of course, we have to survive and we have to make our dreams come true," she said. "We have to develop things and that costs money, but the thing that we do is adding value. No matter what, we find a way to do that."

Creatives are "used to unknown situations"

Gordijn stated that while the coronavirus pandemic has created a period of uncertainty for many people, the work of creatives such as architects, designers and artists, often thrive on the unknown.

"I'm not afraid. Of course, I'm very worried but I also wonder and question, what can I contribute?" she said.

"We, as a creative community, are already used to unknown situations," Gordijn added. "Almost all of our projects are something that we start and we don't know where will end. We trust that we will find a way and we let ourselves be guided by our senses."

Gordijn's video message features in Dezeen's launch movie for Virtual Design Festival, along with video messages from 34 other architects, designers and artists in lockdown around the world, including Stefano GiovanniEs DevlinIni ArchibongBen van Berkel and Bec Brittain. You can watch the movie here.

The dutch designer is the co-founder of Studio Drift, an Amsterdam-based art studio led by Gordijn and Ralph Nauta.

They've previously designed a series of event-based installations such as a swarm of illuminated drones mimicking a flock of birds over Miami Beach and a sculpture made of 10 miles of ultra-fine nylon for an opera performance of L'Orfeo.

The design duo was named designer of the year at the 2019 Dezeen Awards.

Send us a video message

Dezeen invited architects, designers, artists and industry figures to record video messages from lockdown and made a montage of 35 video messages to launch Virtual Design Festival.

We'll be posting an individual video message each day. Check them out here. To submit your own message, see the brief here.

About Virtual Design Festival

Virtual Design Festival runs from 15 April to 30 June 2020. It intends to bring the architecture and design world together to celebrate the culture and commerce of our industry, and explore how it can adapt and respond to extraordinary circumstances.

We will host a rolling programme of online talks, lectures, movies, product launches and more. It will complement and support fairs and festivals around the world that have had to be postponed or cancelled and it will provide a platform for design businesses, so they can, in turn, support their supply chains.