Sol y Sombra: Environmental Diplomacy in the Context of Human Movement and Shadow Economies

Sol y Sombra: Environmental Diplomacy in the Context of Human Movement and Shadow Economies

The Sol y Sombra project lab has prototyped an interactive tool, for the analysis and 3D visualisation of territories such as the Orinoco River in the Venezuelan Amazon, which reveals its geographical, political, and economic complexity, by geolocating and overlaying interests, conflicts and possibilities. The tool highlights potential development opportunities, locations for emergent markets in clean natural resources and new labour economies and suggests these can generate added value for local and global communities.

This year Sol y Sombra: A Journey up the Orinoco will be presented at the Venice Biennale of Architecture, as part of the Future School Exhibition, in collaboration with the Global Free Unit at the Korean Pavilion.

The analysis of the contemporary condition of the Orinoco River was inspired by Alexander von Humboldt’s expedition to discover its source, he was the first western explorer to travel upriver in the 19th century. The investigation is carried out in an interdisciplinary way, including scientific, economic, and artistic perspectives, drawing on hydrology, geology, ecology, engineering, literature, anthropology and uses emergent mapping, surveying and modelling technologies. The research and modeling tool presented could facilitate testing prognoses of positive development scenarios for one of the most precious natural environments on our planet to uphold alternative values systems and future economies.

The unique research and visualisation methodology combined existing resources to create a new way of representing complex data, to create an immersive 3D environment that communicates the complexity and richness of the context, as well as the urgency of the problems it faces. The Sol y Sombra project lab builds on work carried out in Sol y Sombra 01: Designing for Migration.

Sol y Sombra: Orinoco Lab 2021 is led by architects and urbanists Alejandro Haiek and Xenia Adjoubei in collaboration with Tomas Mena & Luis Pimentel. This project is supported by Umeå School of Architecture in partnership with Fundación Espacio and Department of Design + Architecture, Simon Bolivar University, Venezuela.


  • Maria Cabarcas, Colombia
  • Ksenia Davydova, UK
  • Adelina Farvazova, Russia
  • Kasimir Suter Winter, Sweden
  • Julia Wladysiak, Poland

Invited Experts

  • Ricardo Avella: Urbanist & researcher on Amazon ecologies
  • Ethel Baraona: Critic, writer and curator, dpr-barcelona
  • Fabio Capra Ribeiro: PhD in Urbanism IUAV Venice, spatial & environmental justice
  • Juan Cristóbal Castro: Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaiso, extractivism as cultural phenomenon
  • Ana Maria Duran Calisto: Theorist and Doctoral Candidate UCLA, Yale School of Architecture
  • Eduardo Kairuz: Monash University, expert in spatial implications of a world in perpetual crisis
  • Liana Malva: Artist, musician, singer, Nature activism
  • Tomas Mena: Computational design, Digital fabrication
  • Carmen Mendoza Arroyo: PhD in Urbanism, Assistant Director School of Architecture, UIC Barcelona
  • Franco Micucci: Head of the Department of Design & Architecture, Simón Bolívar University, Caracas
  • Karla Montauti: architect, artist, educator, Buenos Aires University
  • Eduardo Mouhtar: architect, Orinoco territorial researcher
  • Maria Isabel Peña: Architect, Former Director Instituto de Urbanismo, Central University of Venezuela
  • Luis Pimentel: Spatial analyst, Emergent mapping technologies
  • Elisa Silva: architect, academic, Enlace Arquitectura, University of Toronto
  • Luis Romero: Artist, Contemporary Art Curator. Sheroanawe Hakihiiwe: arte y contexto. Alto Orinoco
  • Cristina Vollmer de Burelli: Founder, SOS Orinoco, Founding Co-Chair, The Global Leaders Program, Founding Executive Director V5 Initiative
  • Nicolás Valencia: Writer, Thinker, Editorial & Data Manager of ArchDaily.


  • Cesar Barbaran, Venezuela
  • Vitor Coelho, Brazil
  • Santiago Dominguez, Venezuela
  • Ludvig Dovberg, Sweden
  • Claudia Durre, Venezuela
  • Augusta Fišerytė, Lithuania
  • Andrea Horn, Venezuela
  • Mauro Izarra, Venezuela
  • Beatriz Kolster, Venezuela
  • Hana Osman, Sweden
  • Gabriel Valles, Venezuela
  • Cesar Andres Velando Garcia, Sweden
  • Anastasia Niki Xenodochidi, Greece

Watch the Sol y Sombra streaming session.

This event was submitted by an ArchDaily user. If you'd like to submit an event, please use our "Submit a Event" form. The views expressed in announcements submitted by ArchDaily users do not necessarily reflect the views of ArchDaily.

Cite: "Sol y Sombra: Environmental Diplomacy in the Context of Human Movement and Shadow Economies" 02 Sep 2021. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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