☑ YES, I would like a FREE subscription to access EXHIBITOR magazine articles online.
Germany Pavilion (Seed Boards) Client: Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi); Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH (Management Company) Design: Milla & Partner; Schmidhuber Fabrication: Nussli Group
PHOTOs: Milla & Partner GmbH; Schmidhuber
Expo 2015 Awards: Best Activity/Interactive
On their way into the Germany Pavilion, visitors are asked what language they speak, and then handed a piece of grooved cardboard. Seemingly inert, the foldable board is actually a small augmented-reality (AR) device called a "seed board" that guests can use to navigate the pavilion's exhibits on water, soil, climate, and biodiversity.
Holding up the recyclable seed boards over stations activates a ceiling-mounted infrared camera. Software working with the camera reads six dots on the board, allowing the camera to calculate the device's exact position. Then, the camera projects a sequential mix of text, stills, video, and sound in any of four languages on to the boards, based on which one the visitors opted for when staff handed them out. The higher a guest holds the board over a depiction of soil, for example, the more info the camera projects about the upper layer's fungus, bacteria, and insect life.
"The seed boards really create a personal experience and a tactile connection to the pavilion's many messages," said one judge. "I love everything about it."
Kazakhstan Pavilion (Interactive Floor Relief)
Kazakhstan Pavilion (Interactive Floor Relief) Client: J&G Consultoria de Ferias S.L. Design: Facts and Fiction GmbH Fabrication: Designatics
PHOTOS: Martin Miseré
Forming the central exhibit of the Kazakhstan Pavilion's "Ecology" rotunda, this large-scale relief serves as a screen for dramatizing the disturbing change in water levels of the Aral Sea from 1960 to the present day. Visitors gather round the interactive floor relief, clasping a black metal handrail. When they twist the handrail together, imagery projected on the floor becomes animated, depicting the devastating changes in the sea's water levels, a result of one of history's worst man-made ecological disasters, when the Soviet Union attempted to turn Kazakhstan into a wheat- and cotton-supplier for the former empire. Guests witness the Aral Sea drying out to levels not seen for 600 years, where abandoned ships mark the bone-dry land like metal skeletons fallen on a field of battle. As attendees continue to turn the handrail, they can watch the sea flood with hope, as water levels rise again thanks to Kazakhstan's construction of the Kokaral dam.
With an exterior modeled after an old-fashioned food basket handwoven from palm leafs, the Qatar Pavilion's interior offers an interactive table illustrating the country's culinary past, from vintage dishes to traditional kitchen implements and more. Built of variable heights to supply different levels of interactivity, the table glows with a video presentation exploring Qatar's rich food history, allowing visitors to discover the dishes which are presented on virtual woven mats, called sofra, in the center of the table. Interacting with the mats, visitors explore the depth of Qatari cuisine, from sumptuous stuffed vine leaves to redolent roast lamb on beds of rice and nuts, as if thumbing through a master cookbook whose pages were numberless. At the end of the table, visitors physically interact with a selection of coffee cups: moving the cups triggers animations and videos about the beverage, so crucial to the Qatari culture of hospitality, whether spiced with cardamom or flavored with saffron and rosewater.