Maja Kozel is the principal designer of Maja Kozel Design, a spatial design studio based in the United Arab Emirates. Maja Kozel Designs focuses on ensuring that the client can enjoy every experience in a given space. Every feature and detail that can play a role in those experiences is considered when designing said space. From the nature and quality of the lighting to the acoustics of the space, no detail is too minute. Maja believes it is possible for a design to be practical, socially responsible and artistically expressive all at the same time. She believes in designing for the needs and desires of the client, not blindly following popular trends and fads. To that end, she draws inspiration from the rich history of the UAE, its people and its traditions. Sustainability, recycling and repurposing materials play a key role in the design process, and she has demonstrable success with this philosophy. In 2017, her lighting design ‘Tubo’ for the Surge for Water competition won the most prominent award.
Born in the Netherlands, Maja attended the prestigious Willem de Kooning Academy from which she graduated with a degree in spatial design. This multidisciplinary field covers architecture, interior design, landscaping, service design and public art. After plying her trade first in the Netherlands and then Hong Kong, Maja moved to Dubai where she continued practicing her craft.
In 2014, Maja decided to set out on her own and became one of the first spatial designers licensed with the Dubai Design District. Since starting her solo career designing a music studio in Dubai, she has gone on to develop a variety of interior and exterior spaces. Particularly noteworthy projects include the HQ offices for Booking.com Dubai, the HQ offices for the Heart of Sharjah and the HQ offices for Shurooq Sharjah Investment and Development Authorities. During this time her expertise has expanded to include interior design, furniture design, product design and exhibition design.
Even when she isn’t working, Maja is immersed in the world of design. She is a regular volunteer for the Student Design Challenge and enjoys reviewing student’s work from various universities including the University of Sharjah, the Ajman University and the Heriot Watt University. During the 2016 Dubai Design Week, Maja was a part of the #EMO_DCI installation that was commissioned by the Netherlands. She was invited to serve on the judging panels for the 2016 CID awards and more recently, she was invited to join the Industrial Advisory Board at the Ajman University of Science and Technology.