I had such a good time here! It was so cool getting to see all the amazing exhibits put together by countries from all over the world… and I can’t complain about the topic: food. After almost a year of traveling, it was great getting to experience all of these different countries’ cultures within walking distance.
My favorite pavilion was, unsurprisingly because it is so many peoples favorite, the Brazilian pavilion designed by studio Arthur Casas and Atelier Marko Brakovic. The main element was a huge net that you can walk on, over other visitors and parts of the exhibit. Basically, it was a whole bunch of fun and it was a great selfie spot. I also really enjoyed the Korean pavilion because of these crazy robotic arms that displayed this sort of augmented reality presentation on the fermentation of foods and the food I tried at their restaurant, haha. The most beautiful structure either goes to the Vietnamese pavilion with its floating, tree-trunk exterior or to the metal, beehive-like design of the British Pavilion.
I do have my criticisms though… I felt like I didn’t “learn” that much while I was there. I understand that these pavillions are basically propaganda for the country it represents, so the urge to be very in-your-face and extravagant is high (ahhmm, starchitects), but I think there could have been a bit more effort put into the educational aspect of the exhibits. That is not the case for all the pavilions, just a few.
I believe this problem was something that Herzog and de Meuron, the original master planners of the expo, had in mind when they were in charge of the design of the expo. Every country would have a more equal chance at creating an outstanding pavilion, so the smaller or younger nations would have a chance against the richer nations. There was also a lot more interest in sustainability in their design, as is evident in the small exhibit they designed at the far end of the expo. The plan is for the buildings to be dismantled and reused in public spaces/schools.