Space Matters: A multidimensional modelling of governance

During a session of Space Matters, the concerned actors will be guided in exploring the role of space when addressing governance and legal matters, in particular those related to ownership. It is in relation to the spatial characteristics of a given building that the functions, uses, rights and responsibilities of the concerned users and communities have to be distributed and organised in order to achieve a sustainable governance. 

This tool is for you if…


How long does it take?


How many participants?


What do you need for the session?

The building and the site where your activities happen are spatially complex or very large and /or play a relevant role in governance matters.

From one afternoon to several sessions, depending on how far you want to go. And some preliminary work for the organisation of the session.

Aim at representing all the actors and communities involved in your initiative. Additional participants can provide hints and suggestions based on their experiences.

An architectural model or printed drawings: the instructions will explain how to realise it. A table to put the model on. For the brainstorming and discussions: a table large enough to sit around and discuss, white paper, large sheets for drawings and sketches, pencils and pens for everybody, a computer with an internet connection to gather information about the neighbourhood, the city, local organisations, and anything else.


Space Matters (SM) is a tool allowing the designing of the governance system of a commons-oriented initiative when this is strictly related to the spatial characteristics of a shared asset, built or non-built. Any time the organisation of the commoning practices is affected by the morphology of a given site or building, this tool will allow taking that into account in defining functions, ownership systems, forms of accessibility, financial sustainability and uses. SM can be used both by a single collective and by multi-partner initiatives. In the second case, it will allow discussing not only uses and accessibility but also ownership configurations and the sustainability of the financial capacities of the partnership. 

SM make use of tools typically used by architects and designers, such as architectural drawings and models. However, the concept at the core of SM is that these should not be seen as devices requiring exclusive technical expertise, but rather they should be increasingly appropriated by anyone needing to improve their awareness of space and spatial implications on governance systems. For this reason, the tool is presented and made accessible as a “do it” instruction booklet. Inspired by the “do it” project of the curator Hans Ulrich Obrist and by the instruction works of many artists, from Yoko Ono to Sol LeWitt, SM provides the step-by-step instructions for setting the process of designing governance systems while relating to a given space: from the realisation of an architectural model or the printing of the required drawings to the facilitation of the process.

Space Matters workshop in the framework of the Summer School Building Beyond, Brussels, 9-11 September 2021.


A tool for envisioning futures, assessing capacities and planning for action.

Commons & Dragons

A role-playing game about forms of governance and juridical structures.