Coolhunting in Amsterdam

Coohunting in Amsterdam

When thinking about Amsterdam, what are the first things that come to your head? The usual clichés are coffee shops, bicycles and tulips. This was an easy one! But, what does Amsterdam transmit through all its channels? The answer is not obvious at first sight, but once you are there, it is very clear: slow life, slow design and slow food.

Slowness does not mean to be slow

On the contrary. The pace in Amsterdam is much quicker than ours. They have no need to sell the concepts of “ecological” or “sustainable”, because they are already part of their mentality. When walking around the Dutch capital city, one can easily find a fruit shop where to buy the ingredients for a perfect “organic” salad. There is no need to search for them, by simply walking around its streets you will find one in nearly every corner. The picnic will be yummy, try it! You will see they do not rush it at all.

Design in every corner

Design, and specifically, slow design. Amsterdam takes good care of design in each and every shop as if they were presents for their citizens. Simplicity and discretion, Dutch design is friendly and makes you feel good. Without being visually pretentious, you can find showrooms of emerging and acclaimed designers in Jordaan, the fashionable neighbourhood, and in Dam Square’s shopping centre.

An orderly chaos

It seems as if there is an unwritten rule that makes Dutch people know what their role in society is. Although at first sight you wouldn’t think so by looking at its streets. Cars, bicycles, pedestrians, all live together in fast pace, apparently not taking traffic rules into consideration. If you take a closer look, you can see there are very few traffic lights, that ambulances have no siren, and that there are few bins but there is no rubbish on the floor, and no dog poop! And then, little by little, you start to realise this is the lifestyle you want for your city.

Living the city without prejudices

What about bicycles? How to escape the cliché of clichés? A photograph of a bicycle in Amsterdam is a must. As well as a walk under the rain. But did you know that people don’t chain up their bikes and that there is no fine if you chain them to a bridge? Dutch society is free of chains and this says a lot. When you realise this, an inner voice whispers the wish for this freedom, for this simplicity of life.

Of course, there are always exceptions. As in everything. But we think that what seems to be a flaw –“to be behind”- can turn into an advantage –“a lot of work to do”. We enjoy challenges and European cities such as Amsterdam, Berlin or London, are a source of inspiration from which we can get great ideas, even if only a few, and from which we can create a philosophy of life and design. We love being slow!

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