It speaks VOLUMES | What is a Hub?


The search for words of alternative economies in the making

Why “It speaks VOLUMES”?

Have you ever heard things like social innovation, circular economy, sustainable food, and digital fabrication and stopped to ask yourself what do they mean, in practice?

The idea of the podcast It speaks VOLUMES comes from the wish to make such topics accessible and practical for larger audiences, so we can maximise inclusion and impact within our projects.

When we started VOLUMES in 2015, we did not have the words nor the expressions to define what we wanted to do and we can certify it was an issue (especially when you are trying to raise money and the banks do not get why you want to mix architects and designers with foodies and chefs…).

But in fact, how can you even name something if it does not exist yet?

A few years after the start, we realised that with Volumes we had established a new model for hubs, the now so-called creative and productive hubs, in which creative minds meet creative makers, and where the act of production and fabrication is a tool for conviviality and social inclusion.

In some fashion, we are all creating new words and new expressions to name innovations.

It speaks VOLUMES is our attempt to search the words of this new language, a language that speaks about innovation and creativity.

Telling the stories

We do not want to bother you with intellectual conversations about the circular economy or social inclusion. Instead, this multi-format podcast aims to bring storytelling to these innovations and explain where they came from, how they came to life, and who are the persons and the passions behind them. By giving voice to those different communities that haven’t reached a mainstream audience yet, the podcast is stressing the importance of alternative models for every aspect of our daily lives.

What is a hub? #tierslieux

So here we are, everyone talks about hubs.

Especially in France, but not only, everyone is talking about hubs using the expression tiers-lieux (third places). Institutions, companies, and real estate operators use those words to convey a message of social progress, inclusivity, collaboration, reuse of materials, sharing of resources, resilient models of governance, etc…

To make some order and bring some clarity, for the first cycle of the podcast It speaks VOLUMES, we met real people behind such hubs, and shared their real stories.

During 3 months, Domenico Di Siena, trained architect and urbanist, co-founder of Volumes, met and discussed with creative and productive hubs people, and unravelled how difficult it is to actually find a place to make a hub come to life, how challenging it is sometimes to convince investors or landlords, but also observed how central is the community behind the project to make it happen!

This podcast is a curated selection of the best quotes, advice and inspirations from these conversations to support the creation of new alternatives to existing models.

Our amazing guests for the first cycle of the podcast are:

Julia Varela, a lawyer who is currently co-designing the strategy for the new Daniel & Nina Carasso foundation – a philanthropic organization to empower projects related to sustainable food production and arts, pedagogy, and education.

H. Cenk Dereli (Architect PhD) designs architectural environments and organises gathering events for creative communities. While he runs his architecture practice NOBON, he also provides consultancy for municipalities on communities, creative cities and cultural heritage.

Francesco Cingolani is an architect “interested in creating social places through communities and technology”. Co-founder and Director of Volumes laboratory, he has recently initiated VILLAE NGO, a nonprofit organization to convert a neglected baroque Villa in rural Italy into a creative and productive hub for the future of Europe.

Silvia Tagliazzucchi is a researcher, architect, civic designer, project and community manager. PhD in Urban Morphology, member of Amigdala art collective and the CivicWise network, she is currently involved in the Civic Factory called OvestLab in Modena (Italy).

What about you?

Tell us about your challenges regarding the life of a hub!

We would love to hear your story and your feedback.

Write us to hello@volumes.media

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In 2014, when we started, the first thing we did was breaking the walls of our first venue in Paris, to create more fluidity and multiply connections.
We would be glad to help your organization to do the same.