The Drift Team




Following gaining a degree in International Hospitality Management and a short stint working within the industry James switched tacks and re-qualified in law. He spent several years practicing in the UK, but jumped at the chance of a challenge when an opportunity came along for a business adventure in Africa and a return to hospitality. This led him to an idyllic remote island in Malawi to run Kaya Mawa Lodge. Whilst there he re-developed the lodge, transforming it into an exclusive award winning Beach lodge, designing and building a luxury villa which won the accolade of Best Safari House in Africa.

From his travels, he was inspired with the idea of a new business model and subsequently co-founded The Latitude Hotels Group, a hugely successful concept of boutique city hotels and members clubs in Africa. He initially led the design and operations, however as the group grew concentrated on the design and development. Finding his niche he formed Drift Design with Suzie and Jules.

James works closely with architects and the interiors team, melding form and function. With over twenty years experience in the hospitality sector his ability to understand the operational needs, guests expectations, aesthetic requirements and brand positioning sets Drift Design aside from most design companies offering clients the ‘big picture’ and enabling them to concentrate on maximising of revenue. He believes in a hands-on work ethic, whilst immersing himself in all aspects of the business.



Suzie is an interior and product designer with experience in commercial and residential projects globally.

Following a degree in Textiles and a design career in London, India and Africa, Suzie founded the company Katundu, an eco-community workshop in Malawi, creating hand crafted statement chandeliers and decor items. Her passion for design evolved into interior projects, gaining recognition for a high end beach lodge and boutique city hotels.

She is passionate about the impact of ethical, sustainable and environmental elements of design, which she implements into the interiors through the materials, product and supply chain. She believes in a hands-on approach to design, collaborating with local artisans and suppliers, melding the raw beauty of their traditional designs and techniques with a contemporary edge. Together with the Drift team, she works closely with the architect, and operational teams connecting all elements of form and function in the design ensuring that the buildings fabric ’speaks’ to the interior.



Julia comes from a farming family in the heart of Zambia and schooled in South Africa. Having always had an interest in the creative industry and the built environment, she went to study Interior Architecture and Design in the UK, graduating with a First Class Honours degree.

Having lived in Africa all her life, and after being exposed to a variety of projects both at university and in her career so far, she has become the conscious designer she is today. She believes design is not superfluous in any way; it has a defined purpose, one that is functional and innovative, creating better lifestyles in the process, for both private and commercial sectors. Julia has an ethical approach to sourcing and feels it is important to know how products are made, who has made them and where they’ve come from.

Julia is inspired by the contrast of finishes and loves to combine preloved pieces with new.

  • AutoCAD
  • SketchUp
  • Photoshop
  • InDesign

Drift Consultants



Tom has a background in both Graphic Design, Architecture, Sustainability and Architectural Illustration, with significant experience working throughout Africa and the Caribbean as a project development consultant and design specialist.
More than a decade working with reputable Architectural firms and international organisations has provided opportunities to be closely involved across a range of Retail, Residential, Commercial, Hospitality, Medical and Institutional projects.

Tom has worked with the team on three completed hotel projects and three further conceptual hotel projects.

  • BA - Graphic Design (Swinburne University Sydney – Australia)
  • BSc Architecture & Sustainability (Curtin University Perth -Australia)
  • Graduate member of the Zambia Institute of Architects.
  • Member ASAI (American Society of Architectural Illustrators)