On March 23, 2013 there was a public meeting for citizens of Matera to discuss the problems of their community. Less than a year later, 11 unMonasterians arrived in order to begin to address these “challenges” of Matera. Starting as individuals but slowly working towards forming a collaborative group based on overlapping methods and interests, Maria Juliana Byck, Lucia Caistor and Katalin Hausel found themselves walking, talking and reading about the Piccianello neighbourhood. Working in collaboration with designer and magician Kei Kreutler, they developed Map Matera as a platform to understand more fully 5 of the original 12 key challenges for the city as identified by Materani:
(1) Significant lack of offline engagement or visibility for happenings throughout the city
(2) Lack of a inter-generational space
(3) Lack of a space for children focused on developing skills, specifically technology
(5) Lack of a global view on the city
(11) Many houses and buildings are not in use and there is no architectural innovation.
By talking to people, learning from local initiatives, documenting ideas and resources and creating audio recordings, taking photos, discovering the streets, reading histories of Matera, each of them pieced together a picture of the Piccianello neighborhood into an easily accessible and participatory platform. This tool can be used to map all of Matera, as well as refined and expanded upon to further develop its usefulness in understanding and finding solutions to local issues. Essentially, what Katalin, Lucia and Maria have done is simply to begin to connect the dots by finding a means to reflect back to the city the shared resources in their midst, in order to find solutions to the particular challenges the city set out to address.