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Germany Pavilion Client: Insglück Gesellschaft für
Markeninszenierung mbH Design: Gtp2 Architekten GmbH Fabrication: Mac Messe– Und Ausstellungscenter Service GmbH
photos: Andreas Keller Fotografie
Expo 2017 Awards: Best Pavilion Germany Pavilion
An undeniable standout of Expo 2017, the Germany pavilion earned the country its fourth consecutive Best Pavilion award, as well as this year's top honor for Best Interpretation of Theme.
As guests filed into the pavilion, staffers handed each a SmartStick, a radio frequency identification-based piece of technology coded to one of four different languages. Those RFID elements, staffers explained, would later be used to activate exhibits and, correspondingly, explanatory text in the language selected. What's more, the SmartSticks effectively transformed what might have been a passive trek past interactive stations into a competitive, gamified experience whereby attendees amassed SmartPoints by accruing knowledge on Germany's Green energy production.
Armed with their SmartSticks, visitors followed color-coded lines to stations with displays on solar, wind, water, biomass, and geothermal energy sources. Placing a SmartStick in a designated slot triggered each activity and indicated how many points participants earned for engaging with that particular station.
One activity featured a teeter-totter whose usual long, narrow board was replaced by a transparent tube filled with water. As guests rocked up and down, the water's motion powered an embedded turbine, producing enough energy to light a band of LEDs.
Next, attendees passed through a portal into the City of the Future. By touching concentric circles projected onto a stark-white wall, guests caused black-and-white icons representing common household objects to illuminate with text and animations courtesy of ceiling-mounted projectors that described how those items could now save and allocate energy.
The culmination of the attendee journey was the "Energy Show," which took place in a 12-sided, mirrored enclosure with a large circular table in the center. Visitors collectively placed their SmartSticks into slots on the table, causing their SmartPoints total to appear and subsequently initiating a remarkable laser show. With imagery reminiscent of bursting fireworks and swirling galaxies, the denouement conveyed the message that of all the many forms of energy, perhaps the most vital is the human kind.
photo: luke hayes
Honorable Mention, Best Pavilion United Kingdom Pavilion
Designed by Asif Khan Ltd. and KBW Design Ltd., the United Kingdom Pavilion (fabricated by Nussli AG) housed a spectacular 197-foot-long panorama portraying luxuriant landscapes generated entirely by a computer. Behind the dynamic scenery was the pavilion's centerpiece, its shape inspired by the tent-like yurts common to central Asia. Made of 200 polycarbonate panels, it flared and darkened in sync with the panorama's sunrises and sunsets, each panel illuminating when touched by attendees.
Honorable Mention, Best Use of Theme Malaysia Pavilion
A journey of just a few footsteps transported attendees from the vast semi-desert and steep mountains of Kazakhstan to the dense tropical jungle of Malaysia, with a seamless mix of projection-mapped video, flatscreen monitors, and 3-D foliage creating a virtual landscape that encompassed surging waterfalls and twinkling lightning bugs. Deeper into the pavilion, which was designed and fabricated by Malaysia Green Technology Corp., a gigantic tree-like LED installation and a series of transparent screens conveyed the country's efforts to reduce carbon emissions by 45 percent in the next 13 years, and emerge as the world's second-largest solar-cell producer by 2020. Balancing education with entertainment were murals of famed street artist Ernest Zacharevic, along with live presentations of traditional Malaysian dancers who happily posed alongside visitors, making the Malaysia Pavilion one of Expo 2017's most Instagrammable opportunities.