Categories of world exposition pavilions

Just watching all the world expo pavilions from the outside is a great experience. When you enter, often after a long time of queuing, you will find various expositions which can vary in quality just as any expositions.

You may conclude the types of pavilions like this:

In some cases you get a great experience of the country in itself, but often it is just texts, pictures and objects that you did not have to come to the world expo to see. But there are some good examples also and the trick is to find them.

One of the best pavillions I have seen on Expo 2010 in Shanghai is the Theme Pavilion (near the China Pavilion), which is a chinese project. Within the Theme Pavilion there are in turn several pavilions of which I visited two: Pavilion of city being, about social life and Pavilion of urban planet, about environment and city pollution. Apart from that there was practically no queue so you could walk right in, the two I saw offered excellent experiences with creative use of the latest presentation technologies, combined with good storytelling*.

The photo is from Pavillion of urban planet where animated projections on this gigantic globe really gave a strong feeling, as returning astronauts have talked about, of the world as one living organism. The whole exposition presented not only many of the environmental problems but also inspiring solutions. In the following section there was a very beautiful film that showed the development from the first life, via industrialism and pollution into a fantastic clean future with solar panels and high speed trains. A very emotional way to get the message across. So these were clearly ”category 4” expositions.

The end message was very strong, ”We only have one earth”. A strong statement from China, in this respect, and very far from selling souvenirs and carpets.

For more impressions of Shanghai and China see my updated page.

*) In this case meaning ”using dramaturgy and indirect experiences of a subject for getting a message across, rather than direct presentation of information”. Please note that there are other notions of the term ”storytelling”.

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