Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 28 May 2020

Expo pavilion to feature origami-inspired Bedouin tent

Exhibit will house projects from across the world that have helped to change lives

The first Emirati-designed pavilion at Expo 2020 will feature an origami-inspired Bedouin tent.

The elaborate two-storey exhibit, named by designers as The Good Place, has been devised to help inspire visitors to think more creatively.

Inside the pavilion, a host of installations will focus on innovative solutions to global problems.

The Bedouin-style structure, designed to give the appearance of stretched fabric, will feature pixilated mirrors to give the impression of shattered glass.

“The design blends the traditional Bedouin tent to create shade, shadow and shelter,” said Ahmad Abdulrahman Bukhash, founder of the Dubai architect studio Archidentity.

“The intention is that when you are on the inside and see your reflection…you will question yourself and think of what can you can contribute.

“Ordinary people like you or me can have ideas that can affect people all around the world.”

Expo 2020 Dubai will open in October and has been billed by organisers as the greatest show on earth.

Some 25 million visits to the exhibition are expected over its six-month run, with 70 per cent of visitors coming from outside of the UAE.

The Bedouin tent is intended to tell the story of people who have helped trigger social change.

The installation forms part of Expo Live, a flagship grant initiative that centres on funding solutions to worldwide issues.

To date, about 120 projects from the UAE and 64 nations have been awarded up to $100,000 (Dh367,000) each through the programme over three years.

The projects vary from schemes that empower women entrepreneurs to mobile applications that teach workers new skills.

Yousuf Caires, senior vice president of Expo Live, said the pavilion would provide an incredible sensory experience for visitors.

“The pavilion will standout by its shape, lights, mirrors and when people go inside they will feel positive,” he said.

“We will select innovations that can be experienced by sight, touch, smell. If an innovation from Latin America talks of sustainable coffee, you will smell the coffee.

“If it’s a project from Morocco that transforms mist into drinking water, you will feel the mist.”

Applications are currently closed for Expo Live but will reopen once the world fair begins in October.

“Every day from 10am to 10pm, whoever walks into our pavilion will get an opportunity to pitch their idea,” said Mr Caires.

“When visitors hear a person speak of dedicating their life to fixing a problem - being part of [a] solution - it is incredibly inspiring.”

The pavilion’s look was co-designed by architects Takeshi Maruyama and Sireen Ali and its inspiration is steeped in UAE history.

Mr Bukhash came up with the idea while reading Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid’s autobiography.

In it, the Vice President and Ruler of Dubai described a crucial meeting in a tent in 1968 between Sheikh Zayed, the late Founding Father and Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed, the former Ruler of Dubai. Their discussion led to the birth of the UAE in 1971.

“When I read chapter 20 of the book My Story, I saw how the original foundation of the UAE took place in that tent where the two rulers met,” said Mr Bukhash.

“Their intention was the betterment of society and their idea brought about the unity of people and changed lives forever.”

Stunning Expo 2020 entrance - in pictures

Updated: February 18, 2020 03:19 AM

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