A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to hop over to the Netherlands to visit the incredible Crossborder Design Contest Launch organised by Connect Limburg, partnered with brands Mosa and Leolux, as well as the Maastricht Academy of Fine Arts and Design.
It was an intense few days, but inspiring and intriguing too. Discovering more about this area, and understanding how passionate and excited they are about design was the core of this trip. Following the launch of the competition was a way to engage with that passion and bring it back to share with you.
So this is what the competition is all about:-
‘Design an interior design jewel inspired by the DNA of the Province of Limburg.’
That’s essentially what the contenders for the Crossborder Design contest have been asked to do.
Students from internationally renowned design institutions are coming together to create something special; something that represents the heart and soul of Limburg.
Now before my visit, I knew very little about this region of The Netherlands, but the trip showed me that this is no ordinary province.
More about Limburg
Cube Design Museum seating, Kerkrade
Limburg is the Dutch connection to the rest of Europe. With only 113km of border with the Netherlands itself, it actually shares over 350kms with the Europe. This means that Limburgers look way beyond their Dutch heritage to create a belief and way of life that is incredibly enterprising and go-getting.
The have an eye for detail, which was apparent on this trip. Whatever the subject, be it architecture, fashion, events, gastronomy or the landscape, they are always striving for excellence.
Cube Design Museum, Kerkrade
So. The Crossborder Design Contest wants participants to create a ‘piece’ that focuses on the craftsmanship, innovation and inspiration from the DNA of the province of Limburg.
Design a pioneering object that exudes the quality and identity of Limburg as ‘Little Europe’ with the allure of a jewel.
It may be a piece of furniture, like a settee or chair, but just as well as ceramic piece, carpet, lamp or ornament.
The design must be achievable and reproducible at a realistic price. And they are free to choose their own materials.
All participants must enter their design by February 28th, with nominations announced on March 17th, and the winner announced on Friday 31st March. I will be reporting back on the entries and ultimate winner in the Spring!
Fabric inspiration at the Leolux factory
All of the 3rd year design students, including some from the UK were invited to Limburg at the time I visited, to experience this unique area, and to gain inspiration. The winner will also receive 2,500 Euros for their personal use and of course, the fame and notoriety of winning such a competition.
Design implications for the wider community
Design comes in all shapes and sizes!
To further inspire the students and participants, the event organised the infamous designer Ron Arad to join them, sharing his story and ongoing love of design.
We must remember that it’s contests like this that discover the next tranche of designers who shape the way we dress our homes and the choices we make with our interiors in the coming years.
Whilst it may seem a world away from our high street shopping, it’s designers like this that set the course for the next trends and fashions, that we all follow in one form or another. This is why I’m intrigued and excited to see how the contest turns out, and will share the entries with you early next year.
You can find out more about the Crossborder Design Contest HERE.
Thank you to Connect Limburg for inviting me to experience the contest launch