Dispatches from China: Looking for Printed Matter at the 2010 Expo

Hot on the heels of a tour-de-force Olympics extravaganza in 2008, China is currently hosting the 2010 Expo in Shanghai. This blue guy is “Haibao.” He’s the expo’s mascot and he is everywhere in China right now… on taxis and t-shirts, subway cars and shop windows. From inflatable Haibao statues in front of hotels to life-sized Haibaos walking around selling ice cream, he’s become the pervasive face of public service announcement and advertisement alike.

I spent one day at the Expo. While it was definitely a spectacle, looking back it seems like a rare case where the pictures actually appear better and more interesting than the reality. To be fair, as my time was limited, I couldn’t wait in three to four-hour lines to get into the more popular pavilions so there was plenty I missed. As always, I did keep an eye peeled for interesting uses of printed matter.

Leave it to Iceland to print up a big, glacial cube. It stood like some sort of Modernist iceberg in the Expo- not the biggest or the best pavilion, it did have a quiet economy to be appreciated. It was designed by Plús Arkitektar. I wasn’t able to stick around until sundown, but apparently all the printed fabric was backlit so that the whole pavilion became a glowing become of arctic geometry at night (pic from the website below).

More symmetry like the urban camouflage I posted about earlier.

Because the Expo only lasts six months, most of the structures were designed to be dismantled at the end. One way to maximize visual impact without tying up an excessive amount of materials is the use of printing technology… think billboards as architecture.

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One Response to “Dispatches from China: Looking for Printed Matter at the 2010 Expo”

  1. […] Matter at the 2010 Expo (Part 2) Posted by Jason Urban on July 26th, 2010 | Leave a comment Iceland wasn’t the only country using printing technologies to augment their World Expo pavilion. The […]