Monique Mulder

Monique Mulder

Strategy Director and Founder

Role and background

I attended the Art Academy in The Hague and obtained an MA in Computer Science and Computer Animation from the post-academic SCAN program in Groningen. After my education, I worked for and with various designers, filmmakers, artists and researchers at research labs for new media technology abroad, such as “Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologien” (ZKM) in Karlsruhe and Art+Com in Berlin. We worked on projects at the cutting edge of interactive technology, in emerging fields such as virtual reality and spatial interaction with 3D software and new media technologies.

I founded Mattmo in 1993, together with Matthijs Tammes. As always at the forefront of change, we built a network in the Chinese market in 2004, one of the first in our field. And in 2008, we opened our office in Shanghai.

As the leading strategist within Mattmo, I advise and inspire organizations and people in the areas of innovation, strategy, creativity, new concepts, brands and design. I like to create innovative concepts that contribute to a sustainable and vital society, on commission or on my own initiative. For example, I was at the foundation of Dutch Cuisine, Creative City Lab, and DutchRoom in Creative China. I often collaborate with think tanks and give lectures and workshops worldwide on creativity, innovation and cultural entrepreneurship.

I think with left and right brain. By this I mean that I bring creative ideas and creativity together, and this is the foundation that has been laid at Mattmo. I believe in the collaboration of minds, especially from different disciplines, to explore what can arise from the overlap of disciplines.

Think of me as a pioneer. I often foresee social change and trends. I like to work at the intersection of change; there are opportunities and new possibilities. My strength is that I always turn possibilities and solutions into tangible ideas, and along the way I always try to inspire people and take them along. Real innovation arises from the overlap of disciplines. That is my path to a vital society.

Give meaning

Amsterdam is our home port, the Netherlands our base camp. Here we received our training, which is among the best in the world, from the Rietveld Academy to the Design Academy. We have been able to settle into a particularly rich cultural climate here from childhood. We were able to copy the art of Rembrandt, Mondriaan, van Gogh, Wim Crouwel, Ootje Oxenaar and you name it. And then do it completely differently. The Dutch are namely quirky and Dutch designers especially.

Our ancestors made the difference centuries ago by reclaiming land from swamp and water. Innovation ‘avant la lettre’. And before the rest of the world knew it in the 16th century, the Netherlands was the most urbanized part of Europe. As a trade hub, it has since been exposed to a flood of foreign influences – fodder for Dutch artists and designers. A century later, the Netherlands became the international focal point of the Enlightenment, thanks to a group of radical Dutch thinkers. They changed our culture forever. Without them, radical artists and designers such as van Gogh, Mondriaan, Rietveld and Koolhaas would never have emerged.

That radical – or as said: idiosyncratic – is in our DNA. How is this reflected in Mattmo? We want to make tangible what is otherwise only vaguely present to map the world around us so that we can navigate through it.

Just as the world-famous Amsterdam cartographer Blaeu in the Golden Age completely overturned the current view of heaven and earth with his terrestrial and celestial globes. Through our work we want to show our clients, target groups and customers the world in new ways. So that we can all ultimately make it a better place.

So give meaning to things. We realize that it may seem pretentious, but we firmly believe in this approach. In daily practice it comes down to going further than where others leave off.

In this regard, our motto is knowledge is power, knowledge is the ability to convert information into high-quality decisions. In the best case, you can translate knowledge into predictions and forecasts about how people, markets or society behave. Our experience shows that sooner or later you discover cross-connections that make a project – from annual report to city marketing – richer and more relevant. That is why we approach every project cross-media, cross-cultural or interdisciplinary, and preferably all three at the same time.