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Coffee with Menno Liauw

 

Coffee with Menno Liauw, joint owner of- and communications strategist at Vandejong Creative Agency.

In this New Year’s special, we talk to Menno Liauw, an innovator since college where he studied Dutch literature and linguistics. He has worked for Vandejong Creative Agency since 2001. 

As a communication- and branding expert, functioning as a compass for others in translating challenging ideas into realistic outcomes, Menno enthusiastically expands on finding a home in Spring House. A place of encounters, where members connect and where the concept of ‘working together for the world of tomorrow’ keeps evolving and is becoming more and more visible.

This faith in interaction, connectivity and link between content and design is one of the main pillars of Vandejong’s work. The agency creates new formats that bring people together and that ask the "Why" question that challenges the status quo. All in all, they work on projects that don’t follow the beaten track and that contribute to a ‘bright new world’.

Together with Pjotr de Jong, Menno is one of the initiators of Spring House. For him this community of radical innovators is an identity-enhancing place, where new ideas get a chance to surface. "That doesn’t happen in a closed office building where people stay in their own space and work on their own projects without being a part of a bigger picture." According to Menno the force of Spring House lies in its combination of openness and security. “The Lunch-Talks, contacts with likeminded critical minds, the open doors, the multifunctional spaces and informal structure; in other words: ‘the club feeling’ is the perfect breeding ground for me. It enables me to work with clients and create solutions that inspire both movement and connectivity.”

“The value of Spring House,” says Menno, “is in it’s safe and open space where we can confidentially discuss your projects. Even though, at times, we are each other’s competition. You need each other to get ahead. And Spring House is all but finished, how it will evolve is still very exciting. Stimulating collaborations between organisations or creating more mixed workspaces are things that are still developing.”

Openness and security, connecting with others, taking social issues as a starting point for design are recurring themes in our conversation. This is what Spring House inspires in people. “On the one hand you can say everything in this open atmosphere and on the other hand you feel a sense of security and connection because you’re all members of this club of likeminded people. We don’t stand on the sideline and watch. No, we get actively involved in shaping a better and fairer future.” This is radical innovation in a nutshell for Menno.

Learn more about the ideas behind Spring House by watching “The Making of Spring House”.

Interview by Kitty den Boogert