One of the main themes of the Shanghai Expo, which began on 1 May and will continue through October, is “Better City, Better Life.” This high-tech metropolis is at the Pavilion of the Urban Planet. The same pavilion also has a 32-meter-wide electronic globe displaying how continual urbanization creates ecological problems.
The 6.5-meter-tall, electronically animated baby on display at the Spanish Pavilion is meant to remind visitors that what we do to the Earth today has consequences for the children who will be here long after we’re gone.
Visitors to the United Arab Emirates Pavilion will feel as if they’re part of the display, as its multimedia presentation projects 3-D images across the space. The videos highlight the Emirates’ efforts to achieve sustainability through the combination of modern technology and ancient desert-survival methods.
Photo: Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images
The 2010 Expo is home to the world’s largest LED screen, measuring 280 meters wide by 33 meters high. To put that into perspective, its 9240-square-meter area is nearly nine times the size of the LED screens suspended above the football field at the Cowboys Stadium in Dallas.
Photo: Wu Huang/Xinhua/Landov
The United Kingdom Pavilion draws natural light from the outside through 60 000 7.5-meter-long acrylic rods that act as fiber-optic filaments. Embedded in the end of each rod is the seed of a different species of plant.
Photo: Zhu Zheng/Xinhua/Landov
These three humanoid robots scale and descend the 15-meter-high metal-tube facade of the Japanese Industry Pavilion from 9 a.m. to midnight daily. The 1.4-meter-tall automatons, whose creation was a joint effort of 15 technology and industrial-equipment companies in the Osaka region, perform stunts every time they reach the roof.
When audiences shout at this 3-meter-wide, 1.2 metric-ton-video ball located at the Germany Pavilion, its acoustic-based control system kicks into action, sending the ball swinging. Meanwhile, video images are displayed on its surface, which is covered by nearly 1600 electronic panels studded with 400 000 LEDs.
A 3-D holographic image of a woman greets visitors to the Pakistan Pavilion.
Photo: Zhu Zheng/Xinhua/Landov
The Shanghai Corporate Joint Pavilion, also known as the “magic cube,” contains several halls like this so-called Time Corridor, which presents interactive light and music shows.
The Pavilion of the Urban Planet also contains this screen showing a view of the Earth from space that can zoom in and out, Google Maps style.
Photo: Ren Yong/Xinhua/Landov
The largest corporate pavilion is the one erected by the China Shipbuilding Industry Corp. to demonstrate its vision of how cities of the future will benefit from shipping. The display includes an offshore oil-drilling platform and a floating production facility that lets visitors witness the entire shipbuilding process.
Photo: Wang Song/Xinhua/Landov
Expo organizers required that all the structures—including the Denmark Pavilion, pictured here—use nonpolluting materials from renewable sources and be designed to limit energy consumption. The holes in the building’s facade provide ventilation and natural light during the day; at night they bathe outdoor pathways in light.