Boy Bastiaens & Albert Kiefer

limburg open lab workshop


By assignment of the Province of Limburg, the Dutch Design Exchange selected 4 Limburgian designers to join the Limburg Open Lab (LOL): Maurice Mentjens, Gay Jongen, Boy Bastiaens and Albert Kiefer.

They were commisioned to develop the next promotional gift for the Province of Limburg as a team and in only one day. While the prototype had to be 3D printed at the end of this intensive whole day workshop.

During the boundless brainstorm session a wide variety of very interesting design ideas popped up. However, the problem with gifts is that most of them end up in the attic when they do not appeal to the recipient.

Maurice Mentjens came up with the idea to have a voucher that allows recipients to decide what they would like to have. Or even better a 50 € coin wich can be kept as collectors item or exchanged for something else.

Like spending in the Province of Limburg on cultural events by buying museum- or theatre tickets. Or allowing you to to pay in local restaurants and in a stores which sell Limburgian cuisine products for example.

Even buying online furniture, clothing, jewelry and objects designed by Limburgian designers at a website that displays also books from local writers and a range of Limburgian crowdfunding projects just to name a few.

Against the backdrop of the ongoing flow of ideas that already outlined a very tight design concept, Boy Bastiaens and Albert Kiefer started working on a coin design that the team could present at the end of the day.

Boy Bastiaens traced the heraldic lion on the Limburgian flag with only straight lines and part of circles of the same weight. Apparently two basic geometric shapes very close to the letters of the collective name: l.o.l.

In a visual link to the new profiling of Limburg as ‘leading top technology region’ the lion was combined with a cogwheel: split up in 3 equal parts symbolizing the key technology assets: materials, health and nutrition.

Albert Kiefer enforced the idea that each individual part connects directly with the 2 other parts, by giving all three sections cogwheel their own hi-tec signature while preparing the coin design for the 3D printer.

Kudos to Jesse and Aron of Kirschner3D who built a 3D printer out of D.I.Y. hardware store materials, definitely the coolest 3D printer around. They and their friends were stand-by all day to assist us by operating the printer.

Minute detail and rich material of shape and design were also given to the visuals and animation which were presented together with the overall concept to the comitee of the Province of Limburg at the end of the day.

The request for a single design gift transcended during this ‘one-day-workshop’ into a comprehensive concept which let recipients spend it on something of their own choice in case they don’t like the gift. The concept of 'giving-a-coin-to-buy-something-you-like' was handed over to the Province of Limburg for investigating possibilities in terms of implementation and feasibility.

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