Cross border Design Contest

Design an ‘interior design jewel’, inspired by the DNA of the Province of Limburg. That, in a nutshell, is the assignment for the 2016/2017 Cross-Border Design Contest. This year sees the first edition of the Cross-Border Design Contest for outstanding 3rd year students of internationally renowned design institutes. It is an initiative of Connect Limburg (the branding organisation of the Province of Limburg), Leolux,Mosa and Zuyd Maastricht Academy Fine Arts and Design (MAFAD).

 Why and for whom?

The objective of the Cross-Border Design Contest is to o er a cross-border stage for internationally emerging talent in the art world in general and in the world of industrial and product design in particular. The contest also o ers participants an opportunity to further develop their talents and to draw inspiration from like-minded fellow students in neighbouring countries.


In addition, the project aims to promote Limburg both nationally and internationally as a dynamic cross-border region where tasteful design, creative entrepreneurship and innovation coalesce beautifully.

Potential participants in the Cross-Border Design Contest are ambitious, talented third-year students of internationally renowned design institutes in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and the United Kingdom. The institutes invited to select students to participate in this contest are Hochschule Düsseldorf University of Applied Sciences, Luca School of Arts/MAD (Hasselt and Genk), CSM Central Saint Martins(London), Koninklijke Academie voor schone Kunsten Antwerpen and, of course, Mafad Maastricht Academy of Fine Arts and Design. Each institute may register between  five and ten participants in the Cross- Border Design Contest.

The assignment

Design a pioneering ‘interior design jewel’; an object that exudes the quality and identity of Limburg as a ‘Little Europe’ with the allure of a jewel. This may be a piece of furniture, such as a settee or chair, a table or a dresser, but it could just as well be a carpet, lamp or ornament. The choice is entirely the designer’s. A product or, object with the qualities and allure of a jewel.


The design must be achievable and reproducible at a realistic price. As a guideline: Leolux maintain an approximate price of €1400 per seat (Recommended Retail Price). The cost of materials should therefore not exceed €350 per seat.

The designer is completely free in the choice of materials.

Finished product

The participants are to submit the following ‘pieces’ for assessment:

• concept design with justification;

• drawings/illustrations with detailed notes;

• prototype on a scale of 1:10 (for larger objects) or full scale for smaller objects.


The theme

The focus of the Cross-Border Design Contest lies on the (renewed) recognition of craftsmanship, innovation in technology and its application, and co-creation with the participants drawing their inspiration from the DNA of the province of Limburg.

For this Cross-Border Design Contest, we challenge the students to go into and relate to sustainability and innovative craftsmanship within the terms of reference set out above. In this context, the term ‘craftsmanship’ relates to the creative manufacturing industry both in and beyond the province of Limburg.


The process

• The kick-off  of the Cross-Border Design Contest will be on Monday 24 October at MOSA  in Maastricht, during the Dutch Design Week. All participants will be invited for a two-day visit to the province of Limburg to gain inspiration. The first day will start with a master class by an internationally respected designer, after which the participants will become acquainted with the (design) culture of Limburg. The day’s programme also includes a visit to Leolux. An informal gathering is planned for the evening; offering participants an opportunity to taste and enjoy the good life in Limburg. On the second day of the visit, 25 October, the participants will be able to visit the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven at their own pace. The trip is a full package; travel and accommodation (two nights) will be arranged at the expense of the organisation.

• All participants have until 28 February to work on their design. All items must be submitted to the organisation no later than 28 February, 17.00 p.m. to the following address:

Connect Limburg

Marked: Cross-Border Design Contest Steegstraat 5

6041 EA Roermond

The Netherlands

• It is the designer’s own responsibility to ensure that all items, including the prototype, are submitted in good time. Any postage, packaging and/or transport costs will be reimbursed.

• In the period from 24 October 2016 and 28 February

2017, the participants will receive a monthly email update with new inspiration. We will also organise several webinars on such topics as sustainable design and trends.

• The jury will announce the five nominations for the award on Friday 17 March.

• The ultimate winner will be announced on Friday 31 March.

• In the spring and/or summer of 2017 (dates yet to be determined), all the designs will be on display during an exhibition in the Cube Design Museum in Kerkrade (Limburg).


Schermafbeelding 2016-09-15 om 12.38.44The winner

Participating in this Cross-Border Design Contest is unique, for many reasons. The contest is only open to the very best of all third-year design students. Besides  finding a tremendous amount of inspiration, participants are also able to meet like-minded people and spend a few wonderful days in Limburg. These elements alone make participating in the Contest interesting. On top of all that, the winner can look forward to a prize with the value of € 2,500 (for personal development, a study, equipment, etc.), eternal fame and exposure in various national and international journals and blogs. Furthermore, the five nominated designs will be presented by Leolux during various international product presentations.


Provisions relating to the judging and preconditions

• An expert jury, whose members include a representative

from Leolux, a designer, a trade journalist, a curator and a representative from the Province of Limburg, will judge all entries based on the terms of reference (assignment criteria).

• The designs will remain the intellectual property of the designer. The design must not infringe any third person’s legal rights.

• All prototype costs will be borne by the participants.

• The participant will not be allowed to commercially exploit the design for two years, without prior agreement with the organising parties.

• Participating partners will be authorised to use thedesigns (only in consultation with the designer), for promotional purposes or exhibitions for example. This applies for all designs submitted.


The DNA of Limburg

When you live on the border, it’s second nature. To know your neighbours’ ways is to know their culture. Borders mean opportunities, not obstacles. Opportunities to create something together. To work together across borders. Limburg is the Dutch connection to Europe.


The elongated province of Limburg has a rich history of  fluid borders, and today the province has 351 km of international borders and ‘only’ 113 km with the rest of the Netherlands. Little wonder then, that the people of Limburg have always

looked beyond their own borders. To work or to study in Limburg, for leisure or recreation.


Schermafbeelding 2016-09-15 om 12.38.30















Internationally-minded thinking and trading, and playing with borders is part of Limburgers’ DNA. It is inherent to the province’s history and its place on the map. The people of Limburg are go-getters. Enterprising; always on the look-out for opportunities and new possibilities. Due partly to the history of their region, Limburgers are capable of bringing about change.


Limburgers are also connectors; bridge builders. Limburgers have a natural gift for empathy. The ingrained familiarity with other languages and cultures, in combination with the inbred  exibility, is what enables Limburgers to make contact with others so easily yet sincerely, their tendency not to think in differences but in similarities.

Whatever the subject – architecture, fashion, events, gastronomy or the landscape – Limburgers have an eye for detail and finesse. Simply good is simply not good enough. It has to be excellent. That little bit of extra attention can make all the difference.


In short: The people of Limburg have the best of three worlds wrapped up in one package: a healthy dose of Dutch pragmatism and individuality, a bit of German Gründlichkeit and a dash of the joie de vivre for which the Belgians and French are famous. This makes Limburg a naturally international region, where everyone feels right at home: a second home abroad. Above all, it makes the people of Limburg effective partners in (cross-border) collaborations, enabling all parties to reap the benefits. Limburgers are Europeans, but with a strong identity of their own. They add to Europe and to the Netherlands as a trading nation. Limburg makes the Netherlands greater.


More inspiration?




#crossborder #Limburg

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