Revealed: Stephen Hawking-inspired design for UK pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai
Award-winning British artist Es Devlin OBE is set to design the UK pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.
The pavilion will be the centrepiece of the UK’s presence at the Expo, highlighting UK expertise in artificial intelligence and the space sector.
Devlin is known for creating stunning large-scale performative sculptures that fuse technology and poetry, including the interactive Fifth Lion sculpture installed in Trafalgar Square.
Her design for the UK pavilion is an illuminated sculptural message to which each of the Expo’s anticipated 25 million visitors will be invited to contribute.
It will feature a 20 metre high glowing LED façade which will beam out a collective AI-generated global message, according to a statement by the UK’s Department of International Trade.
Explaining her inspiration, she 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.
“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.”
International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox MP said: “The quality of design proposals we received for the UK pavilion were testament to the UK’s world leading creative talent and I’m confident that Es Devlin OBE and the team will help us take advantage of this unique opportunity to showcase the very best of British to a truly global audience.
“This announcement follows a competitive tender process which saw a number of leading designers and firms form consortia to bid for the multi-million-pound contract, and we are grateful for their submissions.”
Devlin and London and Dubai-based global brand experience agency Avantgarde will join forces with Manchester-based structural engineers Atelier One and sustainability experts Atelier Ten on the project.
Dubai Expo 2020 will be visited by an estimated 25 million people in the six months from October 2020 to April 2021.