British designer Es Devlin has revealed its distinctive cross-laminated timber pavilion at the Dubai Expo 2020, which opened to the public on 1st October 2021. The project is the UK's contribution to the international event, representing "culturally diverse Britain". Constructed from cross-laminated timber, the cone-shaped pavilion displays a series of AI-generated poems. These poems are created from words submitted by visitors and generated by advanced machine learning algorithms. the poems are displayed in English and Arabic using LED lights on its circular facade made from protruding slats. Read more about this wonderful project below at SURFACES REPORTER (SR):
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Celebrating Cultural Diversity and Collaboration
This is the first UK pavilion designed by a female designer to showcase the growing importance of algorithms and the diversity of the country.
"The pavilion is at once an expression of the ideal of a culturally diverse Britain that I grew up with, tempered with our growing awareness of the part algorithms play in shaping the future of our culture," she further added.
"Algorithms are among us, they are an ever-growing part of our culture, their output is based on what they are trained on and who trains them," said the architect.
Merging Music, Words, and Light
The pavilion is designed from a gigantic wooden conical musical instrument that collects words shared by each visitor and joins them to create a beautiful poem.
"It uses an advanced machine learning algorithm to generate the cumulative collective poem which illuminates its twenty-meter diameter facade," said the architect. These poems will be written in English and Arabic languages.
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A Curved Void Inside the Pavilion
There is no display inside the pavilion. The architect explained that "The building is the exhibit". Within the pavilion, there is a curved void wrapped in LED tiles that will also showcase the poems. The pavilion is harmonized with a soundscape drawn from choirs from diverse ethnicities all over the United Kingdom.
The architect hopes that the timber pavilion will fairly project a sense of the UK's welcoming and open nature to the 25 million visitors expected to the expo.
"A sense of Britain as a place that's open, welcoming, questioning, uncertain, contradictory, inconsistent, fallible, sometimes nonsensical, majestic, comical, beautiful, and accessible to all," she quoted.
Made Entirely From Cross-laminated timber
Cross-laminated timber is used to design the entire pavilion rather than concrete or steel to minimize its environmental impact. The CLT used in the structure is grown and assembled in Austria and Italy.
While the LED tiles used in the interiors were developed in Belgium and manufactured in China and the algorithm was engineered in California.
Project Name: Poem Pavilion
Artist and Designer: Es Devlin
Structural Engineer: Atelier One
Environmental Design Consultant: Atelier Ten
Executive Architect: Veretec
Creative Agency: Avantgarde.
Location: Dubai Expo 2020
Photography: Ry Galloway and Alin Consstantin, courtesy of Es Devlin.
About Dubai Expo
The Dubai Expo is the latest World Expo – international exhibitions that display architecture and innovation by nations from all over the world and take place every five years. Dubai will be followed by the Expo 2025 Osaka, Japan in four years.
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