Crossborder Design Contest Launch with Connect Limburg

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 Limburgpartnered with brands Mosa and Leolux, as well as the Maastricht Academy of Fine Arts and Design.

leolux-showroomIt 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.

leoluxStudents 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

design-museum-seatingCube 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.

design-museum-pieceCube 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.

The Assignment:

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!

factory-fabricsFabric inspiration at the Leolux factory

The Winner:

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

doughnutsDesign 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

Collaborative post

Jen Stanbrook
Jen Stanbrook

Jen is an award winning digital publisher and has been creating interiors and home decor content for over 10 years.
She has an insatiable love of home interiors, has worked with hundreds of brands, and currently supports many bloggers within the creative industries to share their expertise through writing.
She spends most of her time in her little garden office pod, has 2 daughters and 2 (fighting) cats.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Instagram


  1. Cate
    November 29, 2016 / 10:04 am

    Sounds like an inspiring trip! and such a great opportunity for young designers, looking forward to seeing the entries! x

    • Jen Stanbrook
      November 29, 2016 / 10:52 am

      Thanks Cate, yes it’s going to be really interesting to see what they come up with x

  2. Kimberly Duran
    November 29, 2016 / 10:31 am

    What a great contest! Anything that inspires young artists is a good thing in my mind. I like that the brief is quite broad as well, allowign them to interpret it as they wish. Should be some interesting entries I expect! xx

    • Jen Stanbrook
      November 29, 2016 / 10:53 am

      Indeed Kimberly, I think the entries will be very inspiring. x

  3. Geraldine
    November 29, 2016 / 1:51 pm

    What a fun trip. Looking forward to seeing the entries and winner. x

    • Jen Stanbrook
      November 30, 2016 / 11:27 am

      Thanks Geraldine, I’ll keep you posted in the New Year 🙂

  4. Fresh Design Blog
    November 30, 2016 / 3:07 pm

    What an interesting contest, let’s hope they get some fab entries from young designers.

    • Jen Stanbrook
      November 30, 2016 / 3:09 pm

      Thanks Rachel, yes can’t wait to see what they come up with.

  5. Karen- Making Spaces
    November 30, 2016 / 3:36 pm

    Well this looks intriguing. Love the idea of using the DNA of their locale as inspiration!x

    • Jen Stanbrook
      December 2, 2016 / 12:31 pm

      Indeed Karen, very intriguing 😉

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