Monday, July 19, 2010

Judging Covers (Expo 4)

Time to wrap up my thoughts on Shanghai's Expo 2010 with a far reaching summary conclusion based on a day's worth of first hand observation. Yes, all this stretching is wearing me out. Previous posts on the Expo include: Expo 1, Expo 2, Expo 3

In the interests of time, I've categorized the remaining country pavilions in various grouping.

The first category is "And You Are?" which includes pavilions whose looks tell us nothing about that particular country.

When I saw this pavilion, I immediately thought of...


And this Frank Gehry takeoff clearly represents...


In fairness, a lot of the pavilion exteriors had no obvious connections to their countries. But some deserved a pass because their look was "Just Plain Cool."

Not sure what the design of the Spanish wicker basket pavilion is supposed to be all about, but it works.

Same with the U.K.'s spiny creation:

A picture doesn't even begin to give justice to how wicked it really is.

Other countries whose pavilions that didn't quite reach that level of cool, but still were "Above Average include:





The Netherlands

Proving that you don't have to be large or wealthy to come up with creative design, we next have the "Little Countries That Could."

Latvia's sparkling and colorful effort hit the mark:

As did Romania's green apple:

After seeing dozens of pavilions from around the world, the group that I was touring the Expo with concluded that the ones that we seemed to like the best were pavilions that to at least some extent "Captured the Culture" of the country.

It wasn't a surprise that the pavilion that dominated the Expo and was visible from almost anywhere on the grounds was that of the host country China.

While it had something of a futuristic flair, it was also undoubtedly Chinese.

Others that convened the country's culture were Indonesia:


And one of the more impressive looking and popular pavilions, Thailand.

Last, but not least a few "Parting Shots."

Not sure if Armenia actually had a pavilion or they just bought a billboard on the building.

How's that whole "machete and gear" thing working out for you anyway, Angola?

The surrender of sovereignty continues apace.

Who says the U.S. government didn't spend any money at the Expo?

Ladies drink for free on Wednesday nights at Club Ukraine.

Sweden: We're not gay. Really.

Finally, the sign that visitors are most excited to see after a long day at the Expo.