Friday, October 22, 2021

Es Devlin’s UK pavilion is unveiled as the Expo 2020 Dubai officially kicks off


Photo © Alin Constantin Photography

Photo © Alin Constantin Photography

Lauded as one of the “must-see” highlights at this year’s Expo 2020 Dubai, the entry from the United Kingdom stands above the crowd thanks to a unique collaborative design from London-based artist and designer Es Devlin.

Photo © Alin Constantin Photography

The 20-meter (65.5-foot) conical CLT structure will host a program that highlights advancements in artificial intelligence, sustainable food, fashion, and other technologies relating to the Expo’s theme of “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.” The pavilion also includes an interactive feature, inspired by Stephen Hawking, that will transcribe and then broadcast user-aggregated messages into space using machine learning technology. 

Photo © Alin Constantin Photography

Devlin, who, in the past, has collaborated with luminaries like Bjarke Ingels and Benedict Cumberbatch, and who was responsible for the 2012 London Olympics closing ceremony Union Jack set design, came to view the pavilion as a showcase for not only technology and commerce but also for the diversity of the commonwealth. An element that is expressed in the pavilion both within and without.

Photo © Alin Constantin Photography

The pavilion’s facade is composed of individual LED tiles which display “donated words” from visitors in both English and Arabic. Inside, a soundscape installation is presented featuring a variety of different ethnic choir groups from around the UK. The pavilion was made possible through a collaboration between Veretec, engineering and environmental consultants Atelier One and Atelier Ten, and “global brand experience specialists” Avantgarde. 

Photo © Alin Constantin Photography

The pavilion’s official opening is set for tomorrow and will host a British National Day celebration on Saturday. 25 million visitors are expected at this year’s Expo, which runs until March 31st of next year. A virtual tour of the pavilion can be viewed here.

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