Maja (pronounced Maya) is the passionate and quirky principal designer at Maja Kozel Designs. A UAE-based spatial design studio. Maja, who is of Dutch origins, has a degree in spatial design from the prestigious Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam the Netherlands.
Maja worked in the Netherlands after graduating and then moved to Hongkong. As an architectural designer, she worked in a boutique design called WDA design in Hong Kong for three years on commercial, residential, retail and transportation projects. Since 2008 Dubai has been Maja’s home and she worked at P&T Architects and Engineer, Gemaco Interiors, and Outcast Interiors. Dubai gave Maja a unique opportunity to interact with people of different cultures and, be a part of this fast-paced world and she soon fell in love with the city.
In 2014 Maja did what everyone else thought was daring (even slightly crazy) and courageous; she started on her own as a Spatial designer in Dubai and was one of the first who was licensed with the Dubai Design District.
She followed the footsteps of her father, who also owned his own practice in the Netherlands and who was admired for his work on historical buildings. Maja has in her spatial design portfolio a variety of indoor and outdoor Spaces, which includes interior design, furniture design, product design and exhibition design. Through hard work and dedication Maja made a name for herself and has some impressive projects such as; the HQ office design of Booking.com Dubai, The HQ office design of the Heart of Sharjah, the HQ office design of Shurooq Sharjah Investment and Development Authorities and one of her favourites a music studio in Dubai which was her first project.
To Maja, design is truly about the experience of a space. The quality of light, the acoustics and the first thoughts you have as you enter the space are all very important part of design decisions. Her design philosophy is to create sensitive designs which are practical, socially responsible and sustainable and artistic expressions in their own aspect. Where possible Maja aims to recycle and repurpose materials to create sustainable designs. In 2016, she won two awards for the cabinet design for Surge for Water, most sustainable award, and highly commended award. Apart from Projects, Maja enjoys participating and giving back to the community. She loves reviewing student work and has visited universities such as the American University of Sharjah and Ajman University. She has volunteered at the Student Design Challenge two years in a row. Recently, she has been invited to be part of the Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) of the Ajman University of Science & Technology, which is a great honour for her. She has also been invited to be part of the judging panels for the CID Awards in 2016, which together with a team of professionals she reviewed and discussed the projects that were submitted. Maja has also been part of the installation #EMO_DCI during the Dubai Design Week in 2016 that was commissioned by the Netherlands as being part of the DCI.