About Aat Vos

“People are progressively shutting themselves off from the rest of society by hiding away in the comfort of their own bubble. As people withdraw from one another, the divide between the haves and have-nots continues to grow. We can bridge this gap by programming the public space.”

As a creative guide, Aat Vos is dedicated to reviving the public domain. He evokes social change through the design of third places. His multidisciplinary approach combining architecture, marketing, design, and communication makes him a great source of inspiration for a wide variety of clients like governmental organizations, municipalities, libraries, and many more.

Public space design for social change

Ray Oldenburg, an example to Aat Vos, talks about one’s home as the “first place”. The workplace – where people may spend most of their time, is referred to as the “second place”. Last but not least, “third places” are the anchors of community life because they facilitate and foster broader, more creative interaction.

Where the means and facilities for relaxation and leisure are not publicly shared, they become the objects of private ownership and consumption.

Ray Oldenburg

Urban Sociologist

Third places include libraries, theaters, municipalities, cultural centers, and the like, but can just as easily also be commercial spaces. Aat Vos transforms these spaces in collaboration with local stakeholders; he builds a custom network as needed to create an attractive environment with appealing public programming. Like social cement, his method of working and the resulting projects connect people. Ultimately, it’s not all that much about the place or even what it looks like – it’s really about the people.

Why is it important to revive the public domain, you ask? Third places act as tools for localism; whether a space seeks to retain its cultural identity, stay relevant, or give something back to the community. A sense of belonging is a basic human need – third places meet this need by providing inclusion, both spatially and socially.

Why work with a creative guide?

A true creative guide provides inspiration in the form of motivational speeches with fresh insights. He’s a facilitator who bridges opinions and ideas, and models these into a vision that is supported by the majority. A creative guide has seniority, yet he’s flexible and open to working with any team. Aat Vos leads design workshops to help clients discover sustainable solutions that meet their needs. Besides being a speaker, he is the author of 3rd4ALL – how to create a relevant public space.

Aat Vos on Stage

The right balance between physical elements like context and content, and non-physical elements like communication and competencies, is what makes public spaces a success. Aat has distilled the essence of this balance in his concept of The Butterfly Principles of Design for Programmability.

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With a firm understanding of organizations and their processes, Aat Vos is a sparring partner that helps organizations make sure their way of working matches the character and goal of each space. With a hands-on approach he offers inspiration, orientation and guidance. Oh, and also space for some fun.

Ready to embrace the third place?

Meet the man, contact Aat Vos.


Having been around as an architect since 1990, I have worked with many respected clients throughout the years. Regardless the size of their organization, the level of their budget or the nature of their commission, it has been an honor to serve each and every one of them. I proudly present a brief selection:

Bibliotheek Oosterschelde
Bibliotheek VanNu
Bibliotheek Zuid Kennemerland
De Bibliotheek Amstelland
Deichmanske bibliotek
DOK Delft
Drammen Kommune Norway
Gemeente Alphen aan den Rijn
Gemeente Haarlem
Gemeente Kerkrade
Gemeente Nieuwegein
Gemeente Oss
Gemeente Oss
Lørenskog Kommune Norway
OBA Amsterdam
Provincie Groningen
Stadt Köln Germany
Stadt Würzburg Germany


You don’t think of the things you don’t know, you need to connect with others to grow. If you know your partners, you don’t waste time searching. My partners enable me to work more efficiently to create better solutions for you at a lower cost, but most importantly, to have more fun. I am thankful and proud to present you a selection:

Kirstin Hanssen
Artisan Tech Oslo Germany
Klaus Dossier Würzburg Germany
The Alignment House
Franke Archietktur
Studio Noun
Mars Interieur Architecten
Stone Park
Marco Heyda
Landmark Libraries
Ewout van Halteren
Bohemia Amsterdam
Bureau Bouwtechniek




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As a creative guide, my main motivation is to add value. By subscribing to my newsletter you will be kept informed about my projects, work method and vision.