As some of you may have noticed, after a first period in which I was deeply participating in the project, my involvement and energy about the unMonastery went down, especially after LOTE3.
In the last weeks, I had very enriching and fruitful exchanges with [Ben] via email and private calls about my concerns regarding the unMonastery.
I think it is important to share these concerns with the community and that’s why I am writing this post.
In Matera I had an annoying feeling : everyone around me was telling how good it was to be there and how great what we achieved was.
What we’ve done so far for the building of unMonastery and what we’ve done at Lote3 is great but I still personally feel disappointed: actually, I have bigger expectations for unMonastery and I had bigger expectation for the event when I came to Lote.
I believe in unMonastery as an alternative to traditional approaches as it is designed from the beginning.
I consider unMonastery as one of my professional project and I expect the best results from it.
At LOTE3 I realised there was a lot of problems related to the project and during the days I was there, I think we spent time talking about us, our dreams about the project, our expectations but not enough about how to solve those problems to make unMonastery a good project.
Here a few points describing my main concerns.
Please please please add your comments : I really need your feedbacks.
- Lack of a clear economic model
Also, who are the unMonks?
What kind of professional are we expecting to be there?
In my application for unMonastery residency I asked to the question “Do you think there’s anything else we should have asked you in this form?” as it follows :
Why are you volunteering?
I think these are very important questions and they are related to the very idea of the unMonastery.
unMonastery is building a space and a community of volunteers but it is located in a capitalism-based society.
This is a very important point and it should be highlighted."
- Less people (and energy) than expected
Why do you think I felt like that?
Did anyone felt the same ?
- Communication problems and transparency
- Co-Design misunderstandings
Dreamhamar was a well funded project with a clear structure and decision-making process run by a team of designers (me with a network around Ecosistema Urbano agency) and a city council as a client.
I think that a big part of the energy we put in the co-design phase had poor results and ended up in abortive proposals, like the parametric design approach and the unMonk kit. Basically, we were talking about things we simply couldn’t do without time = money = energy.
As co-design facilitator of the process, I feel partly responsible for that.
- Lack of real and strong connections with the local community
It was a serious problem to have only few people from Matera attending the Lote, tourism Office didn’t even know about the project, citizens I spoke with didn’t understand the project.
Let me say again that the main purpose of this post is to share these blurry thoughts and feelings to better understand them.
Do I need to mention that I tried to write this post in the most constructive way I could ?