Featured Studio

Mr. Henry

June 2018

We chat with Hans Spooren, Creative Director at Mr. Henry, about zapping toys in the microwave (they deserved it) the note from his Architecture teacher saying “You passed, but you should do something else” 😦, and how the studio is structured to achieve sustainable growth.

What are some of your earliest creative memories and what lead you into design?

As a kid, I used to be really into the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I would sit under the dinner table for hours, enacting various world saving scenarios, pimped the heroes and microwaved the bad guys (Booh Shredder!).

I would draw Raphael on each paper I could get my hands on and made my dad a flipbook animation (still in his wallet to this date!). Looking back on it, this is what creativity means to me. Imagining and getting into a certain situation / brief that has limits to work in or around. If the brief is to save the world ànd eat pizza… well it just has to be done.

What was your plan for graduating and what actually happened?

I studied a lot of things. Graduated in architecture with a sidenote from my teacher saying: “You passed, but you should do something else”. I had no actual plan to start a studio, but when I started working for a big agency as yung’un, I was a bit disappointed in the work I was doing.

Around that time my dad suggested I should give it a go as a freelancer(I was 20 around that time). After one year of being a freelancer on my own, I started the studio. Et voila, fast forward 12 years and here we are.

Give us the elevator pitch on what you do.

Mr. Henry is combining smart aesthetics with intrinsic technology. We want to understand our clients and their work, and be an active stakeholder in their proces. Creating work that elevates theirs. And make our moms proud whilst doing that.

I founded Henry 12 years ago, and have been active in both design, strategy & development. My role today focuses on guiding the studio towards sustainable growth, by having everyone on the team do what they do best. We focus on individual skills for a killer group approach. Kumbaya!

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Don’t forget to keep seeing the long term vision and be proud of what you do.

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What qualities and skills do you look for in a graduate?

We’re always on the lookout for raw talent, with a willingness to explore themselves and learn from the group. Skills can be taught, but a certain approach to things is key and personal. We look for perspective, humor, interests outside the field, … basically people who care about their work and the world they’re creating it for.

What career advice would you give your 16yr old self?

Stay curious, open up to people, push the boundaries, follow your heart and broaden your horizon. But don’t forget to keep seeing the long term vision and be proud of what you do.

2018 for you in a sentence.

Embrace the situation, see opportunities, have fun.

Website: mrhenry.be

Instagram: @wearemrhenry

Twitter: @wearemrhenry

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