Hum.us is located near the Università Ca’ Foscari, in the Camplus Venezia Santa Marta residence. The spaces, the dishes, the packaging, the raw materials change over time thanks to customer input
An informal restaurant has opened in Venice, serving as an incubator for new ideas as well. It is called hum.us and its intent is to become fertile ground as a place to meet, dialogue, interact, socialise. It is located near the Università Ca’ Foscari, in the Camplus Venezia Santa Marta residence, and is open to students, workers, the entire community and anyone else. This is not just a cafeteria. It is an “affinity food space”, a place where, according to American researcher James Gee, «people interact primarily based on shared activities, interests and goals, independent of race, culture and gender». Hum.us is a place where you can taste dishes made express by chef Cristian Scarpa (with experience in managing restaurants, such as the Laguna in Pellestrina and Pachuka on the Lido di Venezia), but where you can also study and work in the co-working spaces. Hum.us also hosts events, encounters, readings, concerts.
Hum.us, located in a university context, but open to the rest of the city, was conceived by Camplus – a student housing company – and developed by the strategic consulting society IDEA Food & Beverage, with the support of Federico Menetto, a consultant for the development of business projects in the field of food and wine.
The specificity of this restaurant is not simply its multifunctionality. It is focused on an interactive philosophy: the spaces, the dishes, the size of the portions, the packaging, the raw materials are not always the same, but change over time based on customer input.
Making it all possible is an instant feedback system installed with the purpose of collecting the desires of its customers – especially generation-Z “zoomers” – to create a bridge between generations that may seem far apart, but coexist and wish to find a synthesis between their respective experiences and needs. The space itself (circa 400 square meters) is constantly being reconfigured thanks to a string of contests that allowed customers to express their personal creativity by rearranging certain areas of the space. That is why hum.us may be defined as an incubator for new ideas, where students can gather with other customers, talk, exchange ideas and passions, using the meeting rooms and outdoor spaces as well.
The interior design, necessarily flexible, fresh and dynamic, was created by Design2Taste, a community of architects, interior designers, engineers and surveyors, covering the entire national territory, supported by a network that includes hundreds of companies and manufacturers.
The project is founded on a meticulous study of the characteristics and needs of Generation Z, which also interacts in this space with earlier generations. Design2Taste therefore started with the company’s brand identity, which suggested to the architects a creative crossfertilisation between generations, values linked to eco-sustainability and the green economy, the joy of living and experimentation. «Hum.us means fertile ground, it rhymes with a rebirth into a new life» explain the designers. This led to the choice of an “industrial” style, symbolizing renovation and revitalisation. Raw materials, such as iron and wood, combined with natural colours, an expression of an eco-friendly mood, serve as a background for captivating graphics in bright lively colours. Many of the rather heterogeneous furnishings are linked to the concept of reuse, such as the wood seats from old movie theatres.
The challenge is therefore to create a space that could be modified based on the requirements and creativity of the patrons. It was to be «a space to use and enjoy in total freedom», explain the designers, who conceived a path along which various possibilities of aggregation are implemented over time through the subdivision of the spaces. And if you wish to relax or read a book in an atmosphere of greater intimacy, perhaps while enjoying a generous gourmet hamburger, there are brightly coloured beanbag chairs scattered all around the space as playful elements.
Cover: Hu.mus, Venezia. Progetto: Design2Taste. Cortesia Camplus – Deisgn2Teste
Translated by: Olga Barmine
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