The United Kingdom has released details of its pavilion for the upcoming World Expo in Dubai following a competitive tender process.
The UK Department for International Trade said the structure would be designed by British artist Es Devlin OBE, known for large-scale performative sculptures, including the interactive Fifth Lion sculpture in Trafalgar Square.
It is set to showcase the UK’s expertise in artificial intelligence and the space sector.
Devlin’s design “is an illuminated sculptural message to which each of the Expo’s anticipated 25 million visitors will be invited to contribute”, the department said.
“The idea draws directly on one of Stephen Hawking’s final projects, ‘Breakthrough Message’, a global competition that Hawking and his colleagues conceived in 2015 inviting people worldwide to consider what message we would communicate to express ourselves as a planet, should we one day encounter other advanced civilisations in space,” she explained.
“What if the UK Pavilion at Expo 2020 became a place where visitors from all over the world chose to take part in a collective global project that showcases British expertise in AI technologies and poetry while transcending national identities.”
Among the major features are a 20m-high LED facade that will beam out ‘a collective AI-generated message’.
Devlin will work on the project with London and Dubai-based brand experience agency Avantgarde, Manchester-based structural engineers Atelier One and sustainability experts Atelier Ten.
“World Expos offer the UK a significant opportunity to communicate directly with millions of people, strengthening British soft power and enhancing the UK’s reputation on a global stage,” the department said.
The United Kingdom reveals the design of its pavilion at @expo2020dubai – highlighting the UK's expertise in artificial intelligence and the space sector. Award-winning British artist Es Devlin OBE is set to design the UK Pavilion. #Dubai pic.twitter.com/SRIKNCQXu9
— Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) September 27, 2018
In recent days, the design for Expo 2020’s German and Opportunity pavilions have also been revealed.
Germany is investing EUR50m (Dhs213m) in a design by Cologne-based agency facts and fiction and Berlin-based architects LAVA.
It will feature a vertical campus with various modules, interactive displays and even an intelligent visitor system for each guest.
The Opportunity Pavilion is the final major design element of the event. The design by Australia-based Cox Architecture celebrate global progress towards achieving the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Spread across 4,500 sqm, the pavilion will be built from natural and organic materials such as timber, rope and about 2,500 tonnes of stone.
All of the materials are recyclable and no concrete will be used in its construction
Expo 2020, the first World Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, will run for six months from October 20, 2020 to April 10, 2021.
Around 180 countries are expected to participate in the event, which will be the first where all the participating countries have their own pavilion. The Expo will also see participation from companies, NGOs and educational institutions.
The expo is expected to attract 25 million visits, with 70 per cent of visitors projected to come from outside the UAE.