The Estonian pavilion at the EXPO 2020 Dubai tells a story about the X-road, which is in the heart of Estonia's famous digital society.
The Estonian representation of the Expo 2020 Dubai Foundation
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
420 m² ground floor / 140 m² first floor
Concept design, exhibition design and development, multimedia content development.
The EXPO world fair for 2020 takes place in Dubai and once again Estonia is participating among 192 other countries. Dubai is a notable business and tourism centre in the world, with very fast growth in recent decades. Therefore the suitable themes for the EXPO 2020 are Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability. This is also the first time the EXPO fair has reached this region, and it is offering many new visitors to this area while also allowing participating countries to build contacts with many like-minded people from the arabian region.
Estonian pavilion is located in the heart of the area, next to the central square of EXPO 2020 Dubai. We came up with a visually appealing concept to invite everyone who passes by, to come look around our pavilion. The words that describe the pavilion best are Nordic simplicity and clarity and when combined with the design principles of Brand Estonia, the brandbook for all official Estonian promotional materials, the exhibition strikes out among others thanks to the iconic blue color and clean design choices. The colour choice reflects digitalisation and also the national flag, while the usage of our brand signature “e” makes it clear that Estonia is all about digital solutions and our history and also current innovations are a clear proof of it.
The spatial experience of the Estonian pavilion is created to tell a story. Located on two floors, the large-scale installation lets visitors experience life inside a fibre-optic cable that flows through the pavilion. Throughout the exhibition space, every visitor can see many moving light balls that support the visual look of a digital world and the way they connect to each other illustrates the Estonian X-road with its interconnected features, reflecting how all digital solutions in Estonia are linked and communicate to each other.
Another unique solution can be experienced when looking at the inside of the pavilion. The interior walls in the space are covered with mirrors to create an illusion of an infinite room. Behind the mirrors are video screens that create five large video walls when combined. The clips played on screens introduce Estonia, its business environment, the ambitions of the small country, the e-solutions and sustainability. In between the video walls, Estonian companies have a possibility to showcase their products.
The exhibition room itself is spread out on two floors, the ground floor being a large open space to give the first taste of the Estonian success story. The pavilion also has seminar spaces for those more interested in e-Estonia and a sustainable zero-waste café that introduces tasty Estonian food to all EXPO visitors.
Main Exhibition room is filled with ball-shaped lamps that have been preprogrammed with pulsating light animation. In total, there are 3-4 groups of such installations, each group holding around 100 lamps of various sizes. Together they form the concept of a digital forest.
To create the feeling of an endless space, the walls are covered with a reciprocal mirror that is reflective on one side and transparent on the other. A large LCD screen is placed behind it to create the perception of a one-way transmission. The screens present stories of Estonian life and introduce Estonian people, their traditions and the uniqueness of this small nation.
Every EXPO project is very exciting for us and the 2020 EXPO Dubai Estonian pavilion design is no exception. The ambitious project of presenting our country’s great ambitions and digital lifestyle is always a creative challenge that we like to tackle.
Unfortunately, the year 2020 had a big surprise for all of us, and therefore the fair was postponed by a year and travelling was trickier than ever before. This also made planning and creating the pavilion a challenge like never before. Luckily we come from the same fast-thinking country that we present at the fair, so we still managed to make things work and be ready for the long awaited EXPO 2020 Dubai.
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