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Accepted Paper:

Shady Landscapes: Prototypes for a Department of Umbrology  
Tomás Criado (Open University of Catalonia)

Paper short abstract:

Shady landscapes have become relevant in plans for urban heat mitigation. Together with discussing fieldwork on Barcelona's municipal shade prototypes, I introduce the ‘Department of Umbrology’ ( a collective experiment to explore their atmospheric care configurations.

Paper long abstract:

The sun is usually considered a provider of conditions of life on Earth, but what to do when it damages us or puts us at risk, such as in atmospheric conditions of extreme heat? In the midst of splintering climate mutations, growing environmental concerns have caused administrations and design professionals to recover a daily atmospheric relation with an old acquaintance of us earthlings: shades. Even if it might seem unimportant – there is nothing more conventional than shades – these everyday dynamic atmospheric relations with the sun as it passes through our habitats have gained relevance in urban heat mitigation solutions, such as shade plans, bioclimatic itineraries, or green infrastructures. As part of recent ethnographic work following some of these municipal initiatives and developments in the city of Barcelona, I am studying the prototyping process of shady landscapes. This requires re-enlivening old knowledges and techniques of shades, as well as new configurations, searching to protect those more exposed to a deadly sun and its devastating effects. In a heated present, where the ability to shelter ourselves from the scorching sun is a poorly distributed good, vindicating the knowledge and generative practices of shades may be crucial. To this end, I discuss a collective speculative experiment I’m co-curating with Santiago Orrego, the ‘Department of Umbrology:’ a space where to prototype ethnographic devices unearthing the plural forms of inhabiting that these shady ecologies of support – be they existing or designed – might enable, as well as their configurations of atmospheric care.

Panel P015
Towards Atmospheric Care: Undoing Environmental Violence, Experimenting With Ecologies Of Support [Colleex Network]
  Session 2