A Point In Design

Photos from the 2010 Shanghai World Expo
August 9, 2010, 1:29 pm
Filed under: Commentary/Reviews, Photo Galleries

Photo of The Expo Axis and China Pavilion

World Fairs have proven to be important epicenters for cultural and architectural development throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Past exhibits such as the 1925 Decorative Arts Exhibit in Paris or the 1893 Columbia Exposition in Chicago are just two examples. Both events propelled artists/architects into the limelight and created an environment for social change. For example, Burnham’s ideas for city planning came out of his city beautiful campaign designed for the 1893 fair.

Sadly the 2010 World Fair seems to be more of a commentary on cliche and glitz rather then serving as a guidepost to any new social trends or architectural style. The pavilions representing the big industrialized countries make glib attempts of representing elements of their respective cultures, yet for me none of the pavilions was particularly revolutionary. Looking at the photos below, you will see lots of dazzle and glitz (which draws in the crowds) but the architecture is all in the style of Gehry or the other starchitects of the moment. If I had to single out a pavilion for praise or noteworthiness, I would give that honor to the Dutch pavilion for its interesting take on high density development. But this is nothing new for the Dutch who have been living in tight living conditions for centuries. Below are photos from the different pavilions taken courtesy of Architectural Record Magazine.

The Netherlands Pavilion

The UK Pavilion

The Spanish Pavilion

The Republic of Korea Pavilion

The Finland Pavilion

The Danish Pavilion

The German Pavilion

The Shanghai Corporate Pavilion

The USA Pavilion

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