about us

simplicity & experiment

As we are living in an era of acceleration, our present society and life patterns have become increasingly dynamic and mixed up. Living, working and leisure are blended more and more.

Hypotheses, surveys, scenarios, strategies, theories, concepts and designs of Monolab support the required flexibility for the upcoming generations.

For each assignment we shape a specific mindset that reveals previously unseen opportunities.

Monolab is an ambitious studio for advanced research through design in urbanism, architecture and product development, founded in 1999.
Simplicity (mono) is linked to experiment (lab).


We deliver advanced and synergetic designs through simple and crystal-clear concepts with high heartbeats. Our projects handle complex present and future issues and are therefore fully embedded by merging context and contemporary culture.


We work team wise with young professionals on large and small-scale projects in a wide array: from product and furniture design to villas, from residential projects to urban master plans, from stations and distribution hubs to city cores.


Client’s dreams and demands are shaping our mindsets, as every assignment is unique. We invest a surplus of energy during the intense conceptual phases of the design process, the phases in which the most important and key decisions are made. Assignments are opened, analysed in-depth and assessed in wide perspectives, in order to reveal all issues. High complexity is embraced and fuels our design processes repeatedly.


The studio is lean and mean as the manpower fluctuates with the ever-changing quantities of work. Fast teams move forward in research and 3D-design. By teaming up with engineering firms we are always assured of backup in technical issues and cost & planning control.

Jan Willem graduated Cum Laude in 1989 at TU Delft, Faculty of Architecture. He was member advisory committee for Architecture, Design and Digital Culture at RRKC, the Rotterdam Council for Art and Culture. He was member advisory committee architecture, research and design at the Dutch Creative Industries Fund.

He worked as an architect for OMA in Rotterdam: one year leading the design team Euralille and two years leading the design team Congrexpo (Grand Palais Lille) in Rotterdam and Lille. Later he worked at NS-architects in Utrecht (renamed Holland Railconsult, currently StudioSK), KAW-architects in Groningen and the Architects Association (renamed AA architecten) in The Hague.

Previously Jan Willem taught at Delft Technical University and the Rotterdam Academy of Architecture and Urbanism. He regularly lectures in The Netherlands and abroad.