Expo 2010

Shanghai, China - 2010

The Shanghai information pavilion is a large, interactive, inhabitable cocoon built with inflatable textile. It has an amorphous shape and a circumference of approximately 60 m. The surface is approx. 120 m2, and reaches 12m in height. The inflatable structure moves slowly and breathes as it responds to the airflow inside. From the outside the pavilion appears to glow: a diffuse white light
emanates from the inside. Scenes are projected on the textile: news and visual information of real-time (and recent) events across Shanghai are
projected in colors and the shadows of people walking within the bubble appear on the membrane. The scenery is like a digital decoupage: a palimpsest of moving pictures projected at different scales and at different times. In the interior, the smell of earth, organic trees and fresh breeze, the sound of air, water and voices create a unique environment in an urban setting. Located on the plaza in the Xintiandi district, next to an artificial lake, it is a dream of purity set in the middle of a bustling metropolis.

Technology - The cocoon is made of two textile membranes, between 60 cm and 100 cm apart. Compressed air is infiltrated in the in-between space and holds the membrane up. The textiles are of similar composition as sailing materials, found in maritime cultures, and can resist rain, humidity and fire. The base of the shell is in PVC. Locally filled sandbags put on top of the PVC hold the cocoon firmly to the ground. The cocoon can be mounted and dismantled rapidly depending mostly on the infiltration of air. A local server captures the motion of visitors, processes the news streams and creates media outputs for a combination of ultra-bright LED lights and high-resolution projectors. The images are projected from the inside, onto the white canvas, yet the contours and colors of the information are visible from outside, from afar, as mysterious news blur continuously updated in real time.