french architect and designer

sophie dries

" I don’t want to brand myself with a certain style. It’s true that maybe I don’t have a label that’s easy to sum up in three sentences, but I think what’s typical for my work is really my use of materials and textures with pure lines and to create contrast. I’m obsessed with paradoxes. I really want every project to be different and bespoke. "

Sophie Dries & Kaia

Sophie and Kaia's Director, Manuela first crossed paths at the Schloss Hollenegg for Design with Alice von Liechtenstein during the Walden exhibition in 2020.
They shared a passion for innovative design and sustainable practices; whilst also exploring compositions of different materials. Sophie Dries and KAIA are actively researching smart and sustainable ways to make beautiful objects. Traditionally KAIA works with solid brass and mouth blown glass. In this project we collaborated with the Italian sustainable micro paper specialist, Paper Factor. The collaboration on the 'Inner Glow' chandelier was a great success, and it served as the inspiration for our GLOW Collection. This concept was explored further in the 'Lunar Glow', using different glass colours and moon like textured paper structure. The result is a unique lighting design that incorporates organic material and bold shapes, showcasing their ability to seamlessly blend nature and design.

Our latest object is a marble coffee table which was launched during Decorex International in London 2022. Together with artisans and craftspeople in Italy, the table is a perfect example of how we combine art and nature for timeless objet d’art. It is made from the finest Calacatta Viola marble from the Carrara region of Tuscany, which known for its distinct purple veining.


Paper Factor is an innovative evolution of papier-mâché, scientifically tested and developed in collaboration with the University of Salento.

Stretched and hammered by hand, the Informal collection of Paper Factor takes shape...

... generating lunar surfaces, organic and inorganic, almost like a leather with an irregular and unexpected design.

The glass is mouth blown and come from the traditional glass workshops in Bohemia.

Designer, inventor and artist.

Markus benesch

„The world needs greater optimism
and courage when creating.“

The installations of Markus Benesch can be placed between art, design and fashion. He does not limit himself to the design of an object but aspires to invent a complex world with all its components.

Markus Benesch & Manuela Szewald

markus benesch & KAIA

Designer Markus Benesch, and KAIA's Director, Manuela have known each other from university. They reconnected, after pursuing different careers, for a joint project for the Bagatti Valsecchi Museum, which is close to the fashionable Via Gesu fashion district, for the Milan Design Week in 2019. For the 'Golden Fleece' chandelier Markus Benesch took inspiration from the a Greek myth, where a prince named Phrixus wove the most magnificent and precious drapery of all, the golden fleece, from the wool of a golden ram gifted by Zeus. He created a design that celebrated the rigorous architectural forms and the latest LED technology (dim to warm/dimmable white), using simple yet refined raw brass elements. The resulting installation pushes the boundaries of brass manufacturing, resulting in a sophisticated chandelier that is interwoven with a contemporary design.

Using simple yet refined raw brass elements, this installation of THE GOLDEN FLEECE pushes

...the boundaries of brass manufacturing and latest LED technology to create...

...an interwoven piece, which celebrates
a newly createdmagnificent chandelier...

...with rigorous architectural forms.


peter straka

"The design process is a complete cycle and a continuous journey without beginning or end."

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 Straka & KAIA

Inspired by the clean lines and geometric embellishments of Vienna's secessionist architecture, Straka used his practical experience, technical knowledge and trained eye to create a stunning collection of sculptural lighting designs that celebrate purity, precise geometry and honesty of construction. It is Straka's personal connection to the manufacturing process and deep understanding of metalworking that sets KAIA apart as industry experts. In 2013, Straka teamed up with German-born, UK-based managing director Manuela Szewald, who set up KAIA's London headquarters. In 2014, Manuela Szewald asked Peter Straka to take his linear designs to a new level and Straka created the stunning ONA chandelier. With his innovative approach, Peter was able to seamlessly combine rectilinear elements with curved lines, resulting in a beautifully balanced and visually captivating chandelier.

Greatly inspired by the clean lines and geometric
decoration of Vienna’s Secessionist architecture...

...Peter Straka used his hands-on experience, knowledge of engineering and...

...expertly trained eye to produce
an impressive collection of
sculptural lighting designs...

...that celebrate purity, precise geometry and honesty of construction.