2019 results

Franchise Freedom
by Studio Drift

Shortlisted for lighting design of the year at Dezeen Awards 2019, Franchise Freedom is an art installation by Studio Drift that explores the relationship between humans, nature and technology.

The artwork was created by Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta of Amsterdam-based Studio Drift, who programmed the drones to simulate natural murmuration behaviour seen in starlings and other birds. Mounted with lights, the drones swarmed in formation over the beach – their movements dictated by algorithms.

The autonomously flying swarm of hundreds of drones questions the human concept of freedom and social construct. Its purpose was to invite the audience to view a poetic side of technical innovation and connect back with nature. Based on a biological algorithm from over 10 years of research into starlings’ flight behaviour, the artwork stretches boundaries between nature and technology and generates an impactful social connection.

Franchise Freedom premiered at Art Basel Miami 2017, followed by Amsterdam above the IJ and Burning Man Festival 2018.

Designer: Studio Drift
Project: Franchise Freedom
Read more: Studio Drift


  • dezeen-awards-2021-sponsor-google
  • dezeen-awards-2021-sponsor-dodds-and-shute

Media partners

  • dezeen-awards-2021-media-partner-stir
  • dezeen-awards-2021-media-partner-ADF
  • dezeen-awards-2021-media-partner-position
  • dezeen-awards-2021-media-partner-designwire
  • dezeen-awards-2021-media-partner-v2com-newswire