unMon Report - Cristiano Siri

Cristiano Siri

1st February 2014- 31st March 2014

Main Project

Active Membrane: unMonks as the cells, unMonastery as the organ, Matera as the organism; my goal is to integrate them.

On one side the unMonks. On the other Matera’s citizens and stakeholders.

  • How can unMonks become a community?
  • How can they listen to Matera's citizens and stakeholders, integrate with them and have an impact?
  • How can we co-create a living organism within a 4 month period?

“Active membrane” is a facilitated governance model for doing this.

The key ingredients are listening and co-creation practices, internally and externally. It is a framework focused on integrating daily practices into the unMonastery, events for listening to Matera and tools to constantly synthesize, plan, act and collect feedback.

Local Challenge it addresses:

Among the 12 pre-defined:

  • Lack of a global view on the city
  • Many houses and buildings are not in use and there is no architectural innovation


  • Lack of a “third place” where citizen’s feel listened and they lower their pre-assumptions

How the Project has changed

Many hidden “staff” duties emerged once arriving, which required management by someone with Italian as their mother tongue. Being the only resident one i took care of them: welcoming and presenting the projects, translation online/in presentations/in meeting, managing workers to finish the renovation of the building, acquiring food and more.  

In the remaining time i worked (less than i wanted) on the internal dynamics of the unMonastery as a group and informally in creating and fostering relations outside.

Unfortunately I did not have the time to organize a process to continuously listen to the burning questions of the community (like “Can Matera really benefit from the candidacy?”) and creating space to host those conversations.


  • The building is liveable, heating is working
  • unMonks never beat each other and no major schism happened during my 2 months at the unMonastery, despite the first month of hard conditions in the building
  • I created a good network of local food providers, through relations and not just transactions
  • unMonks and hundreds of guests have had enough and delicious food: around 60% local and around 30% organic
  • I have been able to create relationships with enemies of Comitato2019
  • we helped Fucine dell’Eco to maintain the unused space they occupied to do social services like the wednesday vegetable Market. As tradition we help to maintain unused space, used.
  • I’m perceived as a trusted and good listener by different actors of the Matera “system”, also belonging to very different “sides”.


  • Creating the conditions for Comitato2019 to perceive me as a trusted and good listener (could be too late)

Activities and Outputs:

  • Being in service of the unMonks
  • Italian version of the website
  • Series of daily rituals to sustain the group
  • unMonastery Food Analytics Dashboard

Relationships: http://www.immateriallabour.com/unmon/report/cristiano