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Dear Outsiders,
Have you too received many a brief around 'brand spaces' over the past year? The desire to open a space with programming.. attract 'youths' to 'hang out'... 'engage with' and 'learn about the brand'...

Excuse all the 'quotation marks' but you know how icky this can be.

The answer to making it real? To making it relevant?


Read on. Send thoughts.
– Jess

P.S. The name of the game is countering the culture. Being the change you want to see. Questioning everything. Establishment is an illusion! Don't forget it.

Outsider 131



Over the past year we have seen the increase of brands coming with a brief for a 'brand space'. They have, or have vision for, a property in a central part of the city where 'young people' would ideally come and spend time. 


The expense of living in cities, particularly major capitals, is rising every year. Rents rise, bills rise, while disposable incomes feel lower. City centres and favoured areas become increasingly out of reach for a big chunk of people – particularly students or those in the early stages of their career (i.e 'young people'). 

Within our daily lives, most of our social interactions have become determined by money too.

We spend much of our time and creative energy making money so we can pay rent, buy groceries, be insured, and then what's left is 'free time'.

In our 'free time' we tend to come together in places where social interactions are still determined by money. For generations before us, socialising happened more at home. But as our apartments shrunk and our society continues to become less collective, we meet outside the house.


"...the fluidity of sociability has been frozen up.
We are losing the ability to live and do things together without being paid to do them, or paying for them."

– Dougald Hine
Writer, NESTA Radical Mind

Cafés, restaurants, yoga schools, cinemas – in all these places there is a clear producer-consumer exchange.

We consume a cup of coffee, drink a beer, or watch a band play, while someone is earning money from their production and our consumption of them. Somebody who probably wouldn't be there doing it if it weren't for the wage earned.




A radical brand space would break the dichotomy. Providing an autonomous space would freak everyone out. Rather than a branded space that makes every part of your punk-ethos heart cry, when you're expected to buy a coffee and take a seat under the logo to listen to a talk by a 'local influencer' (a talk put on for the sake of filling programming and expressing 'brand beliefs' rather than being any kind of gift to you) – imagine a place in a great part of town which you can make your own, where you can rendezvous and not spend a penny. 


An autonomous place.

A place that decommodifies social relations1. A place that could become a hub for actual interaction and real creation. 

1 To put it in Marxist terms, in autonomous spaces we are no longer subject to the law of value.


Autonomous means free to act independently. It means self-run and self-governed. If an autonomous space was made available in the centre of the city, people could use it as a place for their own meet-ups, programming, cooking, coffee making.

Don't think it would turn into a spot for the homeless. There are examples of successful autonomous spaces from Amsterdam to New York to Toronto to Tokyo.


"I'll bring coffee and make it for whoever wants some"

said a guy at the Maagdenhuis in Amsterdam.



Autonomous spaces are important as a meeting place so people can break through their individualised existence and share knowledge, ideas, and desires.
Read this past the part you know;

"No man is an island, entire of itself;

every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main"

– British poet John Donne

Is he right or is he right?

The 'continent' notion in the Donne quote touches on what makes autonomous spaces work and what makes them important. To be aware of and be part of a larger whole contributes to our feeling of connection to that continent, and thus become conductive to a sense of responsibility. In other words, makes us less likely to fuck it up. 


Imagine if a space like this opened in your city. A new place to hang out, bring beers, read whatever is in the bookcase, host that Feminist-Men group you've been dying to start up, and soon becomes the hottest spot to be since the local radio station set up a booth there. Someone stole all the cutlery, but it's ok cause someone else had way too much and brought it in. Somewhere that is the place activating people in the city right now. 

And then you find out who was behind it all along.



Giver or receiver.
Move your brand into the next lane. Share what you have. Concern yourself less with being acknowledged, and more with leading by example.

After all, what else is your marketing budget there for - Facebook ads? Yawn.

It's not idealist. It's called BEING PROGRESSIVE!



What does the world need? Brands who can provide ideas/places/moments to get people together in real life as alive, rich individuals – and ACTIVELY manifest.


Manifest their ALIVENESS, their joy, and celebrate how fucking awesome it is to be ALIVE. Here. Together. Doing something – highlighting the infinite interestingness of all of our experience [RIGHT NOW] marvelling at how we can do something WEIRD, FUN, POINTLESS, HILARIOUS, FEEL-GOOD, RANDOM, MEMORABLE.
That is what we need.

Altruism is the future. Believe it.
The sooner the better.

Tell us how you're doing it.

Until next time, stay ahead!

– Jess


Outsider is a counter-culture punch from inside the creative industry.

Promoting real life interaction. Pro-offline.

It came into being after watching client after client come seeking 'relevance' with 'millennials' and crying inside. Seeing misconceptions on the efficacy of social media rise. 

Named Outsider as, like Outsider Art, we observed that attributes of a great marketeer tended to be self-taught and instinctual. 

Jess is a pseudonym to keep the digital footprint of our real identity to zero.

Born 1991 but knowing better than old man CEO's.

Secret Access to past issues here.

This is not a trend forecast agency.
We will show you what you should be doing today. Yesterday.

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Outsider · Amsterdam · Amsterdam, Yes H3110 · Netherlands

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