what we believe in…
KAIA combines the application of art, construction technique and craftsmanship with the vision to explore things to their very essence. Our objects speak their own language: Functional beauty, simplicity, timelessness, purity, elegance often wrought in geometric perfection.
All our products are skillfully handcrafted by artisans of traditional and family-owned Workshops in Austria and Germany. We work closely with our suppliers utilising our different skillsets to explore the widest possible range of materials, always with the aim of pushing the boundaries of conventional craftsmanship and design. We concentrate on every little detail to ensure that our unique and elegant products are of highest quality. All components, being glass, marble or metal go through a thorough quality control process before being assembled and wired in our Workshop near Vienna.
We love collaborating with European designers and brands who share our passion. Together we master the challenges of creating special editions as well as our collection line objects.
Peter Straka is the designer behind many of the company’s lighting objects. He is a graduate of Industrial Design at the Viennese University of Applied Arts and a trained metalworker and engineer.
Peter’s work is also influenced by his love for the rebellious period of the Viennese Jugendstil. The lighting object he designs for Kaia are a masterful blend of art, technology and craftsmanship – all combined with a clear vision of what is essential. For Peter the design process is both a complete circle and a continuous journey with beginnings and endings. The result is the design, equivalent of a journey: with the light off – the aesthetic object, with the light on – the value of its function.
Markus Benesch Creates is a multi-disciplinary design studio that creates whimsical surfaces, products and interiors since 1989. The creation of immersive experiences, including the physical space (walls, ceiling and floor) as well as the objects and clothing of the participants has become the studio’s unique identity.
Markus Benesch Creates works with leading companies in the design world such as: Abet Laminati, Aspesi, Arflex, Benetton, Brainlab, Bombay Sapphire, BoscoloHotels, Campari, Ferrero, Fiat, E&Y, Paul Smith, Hewlett Packard, Samsung, Memphis Milano, Postdesign, Jannelli&Volpi, Marburger, Rasch, Zeyko… to name a few.
Sophie Dries Architect is a Paris & Milan based design studio run by the architect Sophie Dries since fall 2014, when she was 28.
Sophie Dries has studied in the Master Department of Furniture and Interior Design at the Aalto University of Helsinki, Finland. After graduating as an architect HMONP from Paris Malaquais architecture school located in the Beaux Arts, she started to design exhibitions for Musée d’Orsay.
She has been collaborating for several years with multiple luxury interior design & architecture offices in Paris such as Ateliers Jean Nouvel, Pierre Yovanovitch or Christian Liaigre.
Sophie Dries was part of the Danish Architecture Residency of “Jorn Utzon Foundation” in the Villa CAN LIS in 2015 and worked on furniture design pieces. On the edge of high luxury and new design approach of shapes and materials, she plays on the paradox of traditional materials and technics with sharp and radical lines, in contemporary design. Sophie Dries has realized a numbered edition furniture line, shown every year at the Salone del Mobile in Milan since 2016, as well as in international Design fairs such as PAD London, Collectible Brussels, or Salon in New York, collective shows in Beirut and Rome.
KAIA’s small but multinational team of talented and passionate individuals who work together across Europe. Since 2013, KAIA is headquartered in London whereas our Workshop is still traditionally based in Austria, Judenau close to Vienna.
“Being passionate about art, beautiful objects and architecture is something I have always been. I love working with innovative and skilled individuals and create something appealing and elegant, which is new in its shape or material composition.
At University I studied law and worked in a law firm in Munich, later as a tax lawyer in a financial institution in Frankfurt and London. In 2010, whilst refurbishing my family’s holiday home, a hamlet of 300 years old farmhouses, I rediscovered my love and profound passion for interior and beautiful design and the preserving of traditional craftsmanship. I realised the path I had successfully taken for work was not fulfilling for me and I felt empty doing it. Consequently, in December 2013 I joined and introduced myself to the inspiring design world of Kaia, opening a refreshing and new perspective in my life.
In summer 2016, I parted from 13 years of London city life and moved with my family to the Bavarian countryside. Living with nature and our beloved animals made me realise the importance of harmony and finding a balance between nature, life and myself. I strongly believe in sustainability, the preserving of tradition and contributing in little changes to make an impact for the environment and for future generations in both my private and business life.”