Spaces like Actions

Marco Ferrari Beni culturali

The story

About Spaces like Actions:

Spaces like Actions is a research project about spontaneous architecture and typical ways of living. The project consists in an open source visual atlas, collecting a series of images and stories of different cultures of the world. Everybody can participate submitting a space involving or evoking a physical action, a gesture, a meaning related to a specific culture.

Nowadays globalization is stressing local cultures and ways of living, what risk to be lost are the multiple forms of use of spaces and the meaning connected to their presence. There is a broad sensitivity over conservation of buildings but less over little daily rituals, instinctual gestures connected with the real meaning of a space: an immaterial patrimony between architecture and anthropology that both disciplines seem to have discarded. Forgotten by conventional conservation methods, this patrimony conveys an immaterial and public idea of space that materialize in many humble but specific versions. Paniyaru, kaki lima, cocho, veeschuit, kutsunugi-ishi are modest and conventional places for whom is accustomed to them, but they are mysterious and unintelligible for foreigners, ephemeral presences drifting into the oblivion: endangered spaces.

Spaces like Actions means to adopt a dynamic perspective, going beyond the static photographic picture to reveal the situations involved in each environment. Together with our followers, we are composing a dictionary for the translation of foreign architectural languages, an urban vocabulary of meanings acting as a tool for every person involved in the development of local communities. If we aim to create significant places for humans, we should consider architecture beyond its appearance, rediscovering the stories and unwritten dialects of our living traditions.

 About this crowdfunding campaign:

This crowdfunding will finance the production of our first guide book: Spaces like Actions - Indochina. The collective visual atlas online is a fast and immediate form of communicating ideas, but we thought that a detailed study on-field was necessary to unfold the complexity of each culture.

From November to February we will be in Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam hosted by the local communities, learning day by day the secrets of their spatial rituals. Our research will be recorded in a book, which can be pre-ordered through donation on this page.

After the great success of the first crowdfunding campaign on this topic, we decided to open a new one for further contributions. If you are interested in donating but wish to know more don't hesitate to contact us at

 About us:

We are Marco, Maria Giulia and Cristina, three young architects from Italy. After many trips together we decided to share our knowledge and thoughts about local forms of architecture with the research project Spaces like Actions.