When you think of design, the first place that comes to mind may be Eindhoven. But closer to home, too, in the Province of Limburg, design is starting to play an increasingly important role. In 2016, Maurer United Architects was one of the Limburg companies presented with a Red Dot Award. With more than 12,000 submissions from 46 countries, it is the largest design competition of its kind worldwide.
Maurer United was commissioned by the Province of Limburg to design the interior of the Co-Creation Lab. The team’s innovative concept immediately appealed to the committee. “It feels as though we won twice”, says Nicole Maurer. “Our design was assessed by two independent committees. The first time, the reward was being given the go-ahead to actually do the assignment. The second time it was the Red Dot Award for product design.” The company is thrilled with the prize; Red Dot has a good name and the award brings with it international recognition. “Often it’s large multinationals that win prizes like these, and now we as a relatively small company are right up there with them.” Nicole has run the agency with her partner Marc Maurer since 1998. Their mission is to bring together people by means of physical interventions. The Co-Creation Lab, located in Villa Flora on the Brightlands Greenport Campus in Venlo, is a modern facility for food concepts and nutrition issues. “It’s an experimental, combined learning and working environment.” Translating co-creation work methods into a physical design was challenging, says Maurer, but now the design is in use it is clear their ideas have borne fruit. She wanted to submit the design to the Red Dot organisation to see whether an expert jury shared this opinion. As it turned out, they did: the Red Dot Award jury announced its verdict in May, describing the work of Maurer United Architects as high quality, new and innovative.