The story of Youseum
Where it started
Our story started in 2018 in New York, where Koen Derks was working and living when he visited the Dream Machine in Williamsburg. He entered the pop-up on a date and exited with an idea (and his date).
Late that summer, New York’s newest Instagram Museum, the Dream Machine, had opened in Williamsburg. And the photo graphic evidence was blowing up Koen’s social feeds. Cloudscapes and photos of friends swirled like digital memories amongst snapshots of other worlds: fashion, tech, digital artwork, inspiration, social change. Koen stepped back out onto the scorched pavement of the Williamsburg summer; his mind was abuzz with questions that led to ideas.
What could the Instagram Museum deliver as both a creative experience and a business model to visitors were it to fully embrace its potential for social messaging? What would happen if such a museum tapped into the biggest issues of our time? Identity and representation. Climate change. The effects of social media. What if this new form of entertainment that people call “Instagram Museum” could contribute to an all-inclusive world where fun and creativity inspire people to be themselves?!
Youseum is born
Koen then returned to Amsterdam and teamed up with his cousin and cofounder partner Joep Heusschen to scout the ideal location. They quickly found their location in an abandoned, nine story-tall insurance building with a skyline view of the east of Amsterdam up top, and an intact bank vault in the basement. The perfect place to start their mission to provide 5-star shareable experiences for people to have fun and be creative, while reflecting on the world around them.
In November 2019, Youseum Amsterdam opened to a public of locals, visitors from abroad, artists, creatives and influencers, and the friends and family of the Youseum production team. In the months that followed visitor traffic at the museum grew progressively. The space was continually innovated and re-imagined, and collaborative partnerships with a range of brands and organizations were nurtured.
Youseum keeps expanding
Even through numerous lockdowns, visitors flocked to this new form of social media fun. Moreover, the instant success led to the decision to open a second location in 2021 in the Netherlands in Westfield Mall of the Netherlands near Den Haag. However, realizing that the Netherlands is only a small fish in a bigger European Pont, the team decided to take the leap and open the first international location in Stockholm, Sweden.
You can find Youseum all over Europe
Here are our other locations: