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EXHIBITOR Magazine Announces Expo 2010 Award Winners

For nearly 25 years, EXHIBITOR has brought you the world’s most prestigious exhibit-design competition, honoring the crème de la crème of trade show exhibits. Expanding on the success of that program, EXHIBITOR launched its Expo 2010 Awards competition five months ago, and is finally ready to announce the winners and honorable mentions in the competition’s nine different categories.

The purpose of the competition was to honor the most impressive work from the 2010 World’s Expo in Shanghai, China, and to spotlight some of the incredible pavilions there, all brimming with inspiration for exhibit and event professionals.

The competition netted entries from dozens of country and theme pavilions, ranging from Spain and Russia to Austria and Algeria. Reflecting the Expo’s theme of “Better City, Better Life,” many of the pavilions focused on the future of urban development, sustainable architecture, and the dangers of neglecting the environment.

While a star-studded panel of multidisciplinary design, marketing, and communications experts judged seven categories (click here for more information on our judging panel), the People’s Choice Award winner was determined by popular vote on EXHIBITOR’s Expo 2010 microsite, and the editor of EXHIBITOR magazine determined the winner of our Editor’s Choice Award.

“The Expo 2010 Award winners and honorable mentions represent some of the most amazing examples of how design, technology, presentation, and storytelling come together to effectively communicate compelling messages,” said Travis Stanton, editor of EXHIBITOR magazine. “These examples will hopefully inform and inspire today’s exhibit and event professionals — along with the next generation of face-to-face marketers. Because whether you’re creating an immense international pavilion or a small 10-by-10-foot exhibit, it’s often about making an impression, and the work on display in Shanghai does that in truly monumental and memorable ways.”

So join us in congratulating EXHIBITOR Magazine’s Expo 2010 Award winners (listed below). After all, according to our judges, our readers, and, well, ourselves, they are among the best the world (well, the World’s Expo, at least) has to offer.

For more information on the winners of EXHIBITOR Magazine’s Expo 2010 Awards, check out the November issue of EXHIBITOR magazine. And for additional Expo 2010 coverage, visit


WINNER: Germany Pavilion
Theme: “Balancity: A City in Balance”
Design: Schmidhuber + Partner GbR /Milla & Partner GmbH
Fabrication: Nussli (Deutschland) GmbH, EWI Worldwide
Client: German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, Organisation and Operation: Koelnmesse International GmbH

Called “Balancity” (a combination of the words “balance” and “city”), Germany’s pavilion represents its designers’ belief that successful cities of the future will be abstract works of art balancing nature and technology, where opposing forces must work in unison. Consisting of four polygon-shaped structures connected together, each individual building is deliberately designed to look as if it might topple over if not for its neighboring edifice, thus literally embodying the idea of balance.

Honorable Mention: Denmark Pavilion
Theme: “Welfairytales”
Design: BIG — Bjarke Ingels Group
Client: Danish Enterprise & Construction Authority, Expo 2010

A giant velodrome, complete with more than 100 bicycles for Expo visitors to pedal, the Denmark pavilion received honorable mention in the Best Pavilion category. Judges called it “the most refined and elegant” of the entries, and appreciated its “clear, humble concept that cuts through the jumble.”


WINNER: Urban Planet Pavilion
Theme: “Humanity in Symbiosis with City and Planet”
Design: Triad Berlin Projektgesellschaft mbH
Fabrication: Shanghai Foremost Multimedia Co. Ltd.
Client: Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination

The Urban Planet pavilion earned judges' top scores in the Best Use of Technology category with a pair of immersive presentations, the first of which attendees reach at the pavilion’s summit. There, visitors stand above a 105-foot-diameter globe that is actually an image projected onto the surface of a hemispherical screen. The second presentation — a 360-degree video entitled “The Only Earth We Have” — takes place inside “the Earth,” i.e., beneath the domed surface upon which the first presentation is projected. The presentation depicts an Earth that goes from unsullied oasis to industrialized blight to a post-carbon Eden.

Honorable Mention: Information and Communications Pavilion
Theme: “Extending City Dreams”
Design: BRC Imagination Arts
Fabrication: Kingsmen Exhibits Pte. Ltd
Client: China Telecom Corp. Ltd. and China Mobile Group Shanghai Co. Ltd.

“This pavilion has the most amazing ‘gadget factor,” said one judge when describing the Information and Communications pavilion’s use of technology, including handheld communication devices, radio-frequency identification technology (RFID), interactive presentations, and personal web pages customized for each visitor. According to judges, the combined effect was a “brilliant use of various media technologies, creating an amazingly participatory experience.”

WINNER: Denmark Pavilion
Theme: “Welfairytales”
Design: BIG — Bjarke Ingels Group
Client: Danish Enterprise & Construction Authority, Expo 2010

Conceived as a self-supporting truss and constructed of white-painted steel reclaimed from dilapidated ships, Denmark’s pavilion resembles a giant white Slinky. Along the metal skin, thousands of perforations of varying size help ventilate and light the interior, while LEDs placed in each of the 3,500 openings transform the face from austere metal coils by day into a colorful work of abstract art by night. Form follows function, however, as the pavilion’s elliptical shape houses a giant velodrome, where more than 100 bikes are available for attendees to glide from the pavilion’s base to its cloud-white roof.

Honorable Mention: United Arab Emirates Pavilion
Theme: Power of Dreams
Design: Foster + Partners
Fabrication: Pico Global Services Ltd. (Shanghai); China Construction Eighth Engineering Division
Client: The U.A.E. National Media Council

Constructed of glimmering gold-colored steel, the United Arab Emirates pavilion is rounded and curved to imitate the way scorching desert winds sculpt sand dunes in its seven states. Like the dunes that inspired its design, the pavilion’s northern side is rough and textured while the southern side is soft and smooth.

WINNER: Window of the City Pavilion
Producer: Taipei Arts International Association/Shanghai Media Group
Design: J.M. Lin Architect/The Observer Design Group
Fabrication: Wonders of Art International Ltd.
Client: Expo 2010, Shanghai, China

Combining the choreography of a Broadway musical with the multimedia technology of the 21st century, “Window of the City” moved judges to hail it as “a heroic achievement of big thinking and execution.” A transparent 66-foot-tall screen surrounds the stage’s periphery, concealing a one-of-a-kind 30-by-33-foot LED-covered structure. While projectors cast shimmering images and Impressionist-soft colors on the diaphanous screen, the LED towers spin horizontally and vertically, running film footage, animations, and still pictures. Meanwhile, up to 36 “angels” flit and whirl 33 feet above the stage on a lattice of computer-controlled cables.

Honorable Mention: Information and Communications Pavilion
Theme: “Extending City Dreams”
Design: BRC Imagination Arts
Fabrication: Kingsmen Exhibits Pte. Ltd
Client: China Telecom Corp. Ltd. and China Mobile Group Shanghai Co. Ltd.

The Information and Communications pavilion earned honorable mention with a 4-D theater comprising 37 screens. During an Arctic scene, snow falls from the ceiling, while an on-screen fireworks finale is made even more immersive as bubbles fill the air and reflect the colorful images.

WINNER: Germany Pavilion
Theme: “Balancity: A City in Balance”
Design: Schmidhuber + Partner GbR /Milla & Partner GmbH
Fabrication: Nussli (Deutschland) GmbH, EWI Worldwide
Client: German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, Organisation and Operation: Koelnmesse International GmbH

The winner in our Best Activity/Interactive category is housed within Germany’s Balancity-themed pavilion. There, inside a 40-foot-tall exhibition hall known as the “Energy Source,” visitors encounter the source of Balancity’s power: a 10-foot-wide, 1.2-ton, motion-activated metal sphere flecked with 400,000 LED lights known as the “Sphere of Balancity.” Reinforcing the concept that “together we can really make a difference,” the 600 guests inside the theater bring the sphere to life by shouting. With their movements and voices, they activate the ball, which swings back and forth like a pendulum as it “absorbs” the audience’s energy.

Honorable Mention: Switzerland Pavilion
Theme: Rural and Urban Interaction
Design: Buchner Brundler AG Architekten BSA
Fabrication: Nussli Ltd.
Client: Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA

Visitors to Switzerland’s pavilion are in for a truly memorable ride, as a chair lift transports them away from their urban pressures to an oasis of calm. The 10-minute ride takes them through the pavilion and over a rooftop expanse of fragrant grasses and verdant plants from which attendees can view the expo and Shanghai, China, from the perspective of a soaring bird.

WINNER: Australia Pavilion
Theme: “ImagiNation”
Design/Fabrication: think!OTS
Client: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia

Divided into three main acts, the Australian pavilion depicts the country’s indigenous and colonial cultures though multimedia art installations. The first of those acts — ”Act One” — comprises several vignettes, three of which caught our judges’ attention, earning Australia our Expo 2010 Award in the Elements & Details category. According to judges, Australia’s “Act One” successfully distilled a tremendous amount of content with dramatic success. “Australia just created a wonderful space with smart ideas, surprises, and a storyline throughout the ‘Act One’ experience that few other pavilions were able to pull off.”

Honorable Mention: Urbanian Pavilion
Theme: Overall human development is a prerequisite for sustainable
development of cities
Design: Kossmann.dejong
Fabrication: JIMEI Guangdong Jimei Design and Construction Co.
Client: Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination

The Urbanian pavilion received an honorable-mention nod for its innovative use of materials. The pavilion’s so-called “City of Diversity” is a megalopolis, with towering monoliths made of empty paint cans, housing developments assembled from plastic crates, and entire cityscapes made of milk cartons.

WINNER: World Wide Fund for Nature
Theme: “For a Living Planet”
Design/Fabrication: EWI Worldwide
Client: World Wide Fund for Nature (formerly World Wildlife Fund)

Touted by judges as “good, information-rich design work,” the exhibit for the World Wide Fund for Nature enlists the ancient notions of Yin and Yang. Aimed at educating visitors about worldwide conservation, the exhibit (housed within the International Organizations Pavilion) represents the Yin as human society and the Yang as nature. In this manner, the project illustrates the inner correlation, dependence, and contradiction between human beings and their environment.

Honorable Mention: Guangdong Province
Theme: Guangdong Qilou, Green Life
Design/Fabrication: Kingsmen Shanghai Co. Ltd.
Client: CCPIT Guangdong Sub-Council

Receiving honorable mention, Guangdong’s Green Life exhibit in the Chinese Provinces Pavilion features a video wall, immersive express-train experience, interactive theater presentation, traditional Qilou architecture, and overhead LED grid canopy which, according to judges, is “captivating to say the least.”

WINNER: Israel Pavilion
Design: Haim Dotan Ltd. Architects and Urban Designers,
with designer Prosper Amir; Barzilai Design Ltd.; EXPRODESIGN
Fabrication: Shanghai Century 3 Construction Co. Ltd.
Client: State of Israel: Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Architecturally acknowledging the Chinese philosophy of yin and yang, Israel constructed its first World’s Fair pavilion since Expo ‘67 in Montreal with two curvilinear forms — one of stone and one of glass — that symbolize the dualities confronting modern Israeli life, such as man versus nature, and ancient versus modern. Contained within the natural stone half of the 79-foot-high structure is the Hall of Innovations, illustrating how nature and science can work together to create a sustainable world. Underneath the transparent glass section is the Hall of Light, personifying the benevolent future that technology can lead us into.

Honorable Mention:
Macau Pavilion
Design: Oval Design Ltd.; Telemedia Special Presentations
Fabrication: Milton Exhibits Group
Client: Government of the Macao Special Administrative Region

One of the smallest and most whimsical of all the pavilions at Expo 2010, Macau’s pavilion is inspired by traditional rabbit lanterns used in folk festivals in southern China. Not only does the structure reinforce the Expo’s Green theme with its solar-power panels and rain-collection systems, but its 120 projectors — more than any other pavilion — create an immersive experience that makes attendees feel like they visited Macau without leaving Shanghai.

WINNER: India Pavilion
Theme: Cities of Harmony
Design: Design C (unit of HTA Pvt. Ltd.)
Fabrication: China Jingye
Client: India Trade Promotion Organization Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India

Modeled after Sanchi Stupa, an ancient Buddhist temple built about 24 centuries ago, India’s pavilion may look like a monument from its illustrious past, but its reality is eminently 21st century: The dome’s ferrocement roof is covered by a grid of ropes and wires that allow herb trays and solar cells to be mounted on it. In a nod to sustainable architecture ­— and Expo 2010’s “Better City, Better Life” theme — the solar cells generate enough energy to support the structure’s emergency lighting system, while the herbs act as a carbon sink, purifying and even scenting the surrounding air. Built with tens of thousands of thick bamboo poles, the 115-foot-diameter structure is now considered the world’s largest bamboo dome.

Honorable Mention: Information and Communications Pavilion
Theme: “Extending City Dreams”
Design: BRC Imagination Arts
Fabrication: Kingsmen Exhibits Pte. Ltd
Client: China Telecom Corp. Ltd. and China Mobile Group Shanghai Co. Ltd.

The Susan Lucci of EXHIBITOR Magazine’s Expo 2010 Awards competition, the Information and Communications pavilion claimed its third Honorable Mention as the runner-up in our People’s Choice voting. One of the most interactive and technologically advanced pavilions in Shanghai, it is no wonder why it appeals to visitors (virtual or otherwise).
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