Expo 2020 Dubai UK Pavilion, Es Devlin Poem Building, Architect, UAE Design Project Photos

Expo 2020 Dubai UK Pavilion Design

29 September 2021

Design: Es Devlin

UK Pavilion Designed By Es Devlin Launched At Expo 2020 Dubai A Twenty Metre High Collective Poem

Poem Pavilion

Expo 2020 Dubai UK Pavilion Building
photos by Alin Constantin ; images courtesy of Es Devlin

The UK Pavilion, created by leading artist and designer, Es Devlin, will be launched on 1 October 2021 at Expo 2020 Dubai.

UK Pavilion at EXPO 2020 Dubai News

Wednesday 29 September 2021 – Shaped like a giant wooden conical musical instrument, the Poem Pavilion gathers words donated by each visitor and uses an advanced machine learning algorithm to generate the cumulative collective poem which illuminates its twenty-metre diameter facade.

Expo 2020 Dubai UK Pavilion building design by Es Devlin

It is the first time a UK pavilion has been designed by a woman since the inception of Expo in 1851. Devlin conceived the building to express Britain as a cultural gathering place, a meeting and melding of ideas and languages from across the globe. Twenty five million visitors are projected to pass through Expo during its six month run, and each will be invited to donate a word at the ‘mouthpiece’ of the pavilion, then enter within the heart of the instrument where they will be surrounded by donated words glimmering in illuminated Arabic and English, underscored by a soundscape gathered from multicultural choirs across the UK. As visitors emerge through the facade of the pavilion, they will pass through the twenty-metre diameter composition of collective text: a new poem generated every minute.

Expo 2020 Dubai UK Pavilion Building

Devlin collaborated closely on the designs with structural engineers, Atelier One, environmental design consultants Atelier Ten, executive architects Veretec and creative agency Avantgarde. Guided by the engineers’ expertise in sustainable construction, the team chose cross laminated timber as the pavilion’s prime material. Sourced from sustainably managed European forests in Austria and Italy and championed by engineers as a sustainable alternative to concrete and steel, the cross laminated timber is crafted around LED tiles engineered in Belgium and manufactured in China, installed by local British and UAE teams, while the poetry generating algorithm has been developed by creative technologists in California. The pavilion has been conceived as an expression of cultural inclusivity and its execution is a feat of European and international collaboration.

Expo 2020 Dubai UK Pavilion Building

Ed Devlin’s exploration of machine generated poetry began with PoemPortraits at the Serpentine Gallery in 2016 in response to curator Hans Ulrich Obrist’s invitation to consider the idea of a ‘social sculpture’. In 2017 she continued her explorations at the Victoria & Albert Museum, turning their annual artist-conceived Christmas tree into a ‘collective carol’. In 2018 visitors fed words into the mouth of one of the lions in Trafalgar Square and watched the collective text projected up the length of Nelsons column.

Expo 2020 Dubai UK Pavilion Building

The text generated by the Poem Pavilion uses a machine learning model called GPT-2, a large language model defined by 1.5 billion parameters. GPT-2 was originally trained on a broad spectrum of internet text, and for this project it was fine-tuned on a diverse and carefully curated selection of over five thousand poems—comprising over two hundred thousand lines of poetry refined over months of iterative feedback from a diverse team of poetry curators.

Expo 2020 Dubai UK Pavilion Building

Ed Devlin says:

“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. 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.”

Expo 2020 Dubai UK Pavilion Building

Es Devlin

Es Devlin is an artist and designer who is known for creating large-scale installations and environments that combine music, language, and light.

Expo 2020 Dubai UK Pavilion building design by Es Devlin

Her work in machine generated poetry began with PoemPortraits at the Serpentine Gallery in 2016 in response to curator Hans Ulrich Obrist’s invitation to consider the idea of a ‘social sculpture’. In 2017 she continued her explorations at the Victoria & Albert Museum, turning their annual artist-conceived Christmas tree into a ‘collective carol’. In 2018 visitors fed words into the mouth of one of the lions in Trafalgar Square and watched the collective text projected up the length of Nelsons column.

Expo 2020 Dubai UK Pavilion Building

Her latest large scale mirror maze, Forest of Us (2021) forms part of the inaugural exhibition at SUPERBLUE Miami alongside new works by James Turrell and TeamLab. The Imperial War Museum commission, I Saw the World End (2020) invited viewers to engage simultaneously with opposing perspectives on Europe’s largest LED screen in Piccadilly Circus, while the monumental 360-degree sculpture Memory Palace (2019) mapped shifts in human perspective over 73 millennia. She was Artistic Director of the 2021 London Design Biennale and created a spectacular forest in Somerset House’s central courtyard for the Forest for Change – The Global Goals Pavilion. Her new temporary forest project Conference of the Trees will be shown at COP26 in Glasgow in November.

Expo 2020 Dubai UK Pavilion Building

Devlin’s practice originates in collaborations in theatre (The Lehman Trilogy), opera (Carmen on the Lake at Bregenz), Olympic ceremonies (London and Rio) and has created some of the most renowned stage sculptures (with Beyoncé, The Weeknd, Billie Eilish, U2, Kanye West) seen by mass audiences around the world.

Expo 2020 Dubai UK Pavilion interior design

Her work has been shown at London’s Serpentine Gallery and the V&A and at the Metropolitan Museum in New York and she is the first woman chosen to design the British Pavilion at the World Expo – opening in October this year. Her practice is the subject of the Netflix documentary series: Abstract: The Art of Design, and part of the Masterclass series. She has won three Olivier Awards, the London Design medal and was made OBE in 2015. Her first song writing collaboration, Children of the Internet with British rapper Dave and producer Fraser T Smith, has just been awarded an Ivor Novello award for best new contemporary song.

www.esdevlin.com

Expo 2020 Dubai UK Pavilion building design by Es Devlin

UK Pavilion at EXPO 2020 Dubai

How will we live in the future? How will humanity come together to recover from the first global pandemic of the 21st century? How can we tackle climate change and be more sustainable in everything that we do? Whether attending in person or virtually, these are just some of the urgent questions that will be explored as part of the programme in the UK Pavilion at EXPO 2020 Dubai.

Expo 2020 Dubai UK Pavilion building design by Es Devlin

The UK Pavilion has been conceived and designed by Es Devlin with creative production by global brand experience specialists Avantgarde. The theme of the UK Pavilion is ‘Innovating for a Shared Future’ and will be based in the ‘Opportunity’ district.

Expo 2020 Dubai will run from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022. More than 190 nations are taking part with 70% of the visitors expected from around the world. The overarching theme for Expo 2020 Dubai is ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’.

Expo 2020 Dubai UK Pavilion building design by Es Devlin

The UK’s participation in Expo 2020 Dubai is being led by the Department for International Trade (DIT), with support from the Devolved Administrations and other UK Government Departments.

For more information on planning a visit and to take a virtual tour of the UK Pavilion visit: https://www.great.gov.uk/expo2020

Expo 2020 Dubai UK Pavilion building design by Es Devlin

Avantgarde

The global brand experience agency Avantgarde has been commissioned as the general design contractor by the Department of International Trade. The teams at Avantgarde will be responsible for the coordination, and overall creative production across interactive, exhibition and digital experiences, demonstrating their multidisciplinary capabilities.

Avantgarde is a global brand experience agency which advises brands strategically with 500 experts in ten countries. Avantgarde played a pivotal role in Astana EXPO 2017, turning the Astana Contemporary Art Centre and the Energy Best Practices Area into engaging and innovative experiences. The agency is looking forward in bringing all its interdisciplinary expertise and EXPO experience together to deliver a powerful statement for the UK.

https://avantgarde.net/

Expo 2020 Dubai UK Pavilion building design by Es Devlin
photo : Ry Galloway ; image courtesy of Es Devlin

Expo 2020 Dubai UK Pavilion building design by Es Devlin images / information received 290921

Location: Jebel Ali, Dubai, UAE

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