FOUNDER OF YUSU
A COFFEE WITH KICK
Amsterdam is fueled by coffee and AMFI is fueled by YUSU, so in order to understand the city and it’s uniform we sat down with local and founder of the cult coffee spot to hear his perspectives on how the city’s identity has changed. A creative at heart, born in a squat, community has always been at the heart of his mission. Connecting with, and representing the diverse group of people that call this city home.
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KICK VAN DOORN
Which area did you grow up in?
I’m born in the squat, actually, my parents were squatters slash hippies, and I’m born in a really big squat on the Weesperzijde and now it’s worth 4 million. I believe there were like 30 people living there, all friends with my parents, and they were all on the creative scene. That’s actually also where my feeling for community started because we lived with everyone – my parents lived there but then also the friends of my parents and they had children too so it was just one big community. My mom also had a gallery downstairs on the ground floor.
What does the uniform mean to you or evoke for you?
I would say something that shows your personality in one go. So you see someone in their uniform and you can almost directly see what kind of person it is. When I think about uniforms, I think of something powerful. It can also be something that in one way shows your personality but it also can be super monotone or impersonal – if everyone is looking the same in Europe you
can’t really see the personality. It’s not about clothing but it’s more about what’s behind the input. So I think the uniform has both sides.
What does being a creative mean to you?
Someone that can come up with solutions. It’s really difficult to define and I’m not really a big fan of these big category terms. I think everyone can be creative in a way. Even the person that’s cleaning the streets can be creative. It’s about thinking out of the box, being innovative and coming up with something new.
How important is bringing people together for you?
That’s really important. That’s already since I was born, again living in the squat, it’s always about community and bringing different people together. I think that the main thing we focus on in YUSU is community building. I studied sociology and human capital is a big term used there, and we have all these different terms of capital, and human capital is your network which you create around you.
What do you think connects you personally most with Amsterdam and what keeps you here.
It feels just like a village and I really like that. You get to know people in all kinds of sectors. I figured out I don’t really like the bigger cities like Paris or New York, it’s really hard to get into.
I think a lot of what I really like about Amsterdam is if you know some people that are working in fashion or working in the creative scene, it’s possible to collaborate with each other. There’s no competition. I would say everyone works together and, of course, everyone needs to make their money everyone needs to make profits and it’s a capitalistic system, but I also feel like people are down to do cool projects together, where it’s not always about the money, but also about just having fun. Even the fashion brands, they’re competitors, but they’re not competing against each other.