PSFK Visits The UK Pavilion At The Shanghai Expo

PSFK Visits The UK Pavilion At The Shanghai Expo

A review and over 40 photos of our visit to the British experience in China.

Piers Fawkes, PSFK
  • 10 may 2010

The Seed Cathedral, which is the centerpiece of the UK Pavilion, is covered with 60,000 crystalline spines. The outer end of these spines are tipped with lights that send light into the interior during the day and make the exterior glow during the night. Inside the tips of the spines contained seeds from the Millennium Seed Bank Project.

For PSFK, the UK Pavilion was the most moving experience of the entire Shanghai Expo 2010. While most of the other pavilions were ovcr-sized advertisements for travel or trade between China and those countries; the UK pavilion offered a moments of delight. The sight of the outside of what some cool a dandelion looking pavilion may have been jaw dropping but it was the presentation inside the cathedral that brought us innocent joy as we realized that we were surrounded by maybe a hundred thousand seeds preserved for our children.

UK Pavilion interior

In some ways the unique approach also demonstrated how countries like the UK can compete in a world where everything can be reproduced anywhere. What the British showed is that they could lead through creativity. Sure, maybe there are architects from other countries who could create equally joyful experiences, but no other country chose those designers. Instead, they chose safe options that more or less was the same approach as everyone else – just with different skin. The creators of the UK pavilion must have realized that the way to set themselves apart was to show unparalleled creativity and lateral thinking.

Piers Fawkes of PSFK at the UK Pavilion

Click through our gallery for more pictures from the UK Pavilion:

UK Pavilion Green Cities - Cardiff

One other aspect to point out was that on the approach ramp to the Seed Cathedral there were several ‘living’ maps of UK cities. The maps aimed to show how the British value the outdoors and have been building in green space into their urban environments for a long time. A sign read:

There is nothing British people like more than enjoying the open air. Contact with the natural environment is important to us. And our unpredictable climate has taught us to appreciate nature whenever we get the chance.

We built our cities low to let the sunshine and breeze into the streets. We created parks so we could escape to nature. Our ‘green and pleasant land’, its climate and wildlife have inspired our writers, artists, explorers and scientists.

We devised numerous sports to play outdoors and we cherish our urban gardens. Even our favorite smells include newly-cut grass and fresh air aftr rainfall.

The bond between the British people and their natural environment is strong and continues to be a vital element in shaping our culture.


PSFK's Workplace Vision: How The Nurturing Of Seeds Will Come To Define The Onboarding Process

Brand Development
Media & Publishing Today

CNN Launched An Entire Drone Division Of Their News Network

CNN AIR incorporates aerial footage into the corporation's ongoing news coverage

Advertising Today

Uber’s Breathalyzer Cards Let You Know If You Are Sober Enough To Drive

A new campaign from the ride-sharing service raises awareness about the importance of a safe trip home


Get PSFK's Latest Report: Innovation Debrief: Boston

See All
Design Today

Milk Proteins Could Be The Packaging Material Of The Future

A newly discovered casein-based alternative is biodegradable, sustainable and even edible

Technology Today

Intel’s New System Will Help Technology See And Understand The World

Joule is a tiny board for developers designed to bring powerful computer vision to cheap and easy-to-make prototypes


Alina Balean

Wearable Tech & UX/UI Designer

Design Today

This LA Hotel Is Designed Specifically For Cocktail Drinkers

The Walker Inn is a new Los Angeles "Bed and Beverage" experience that offers guests an intimate setting for their night cap

Education Today

Bringing Virtual Reality And Telepresence Robotics To E-Learning

This Learning Management System is embracing new technologies to reallocate teaching resources to where they should be going

Advertising Today

Interactive Art Exhibition For Dogs Provides Endless Fun

Installations created by artist Dominic Wilcox are based on activities loved by canines, such as fetching tennis balls and splashing in water


Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders

PSFK Op-Ed august 23, 2016

Modern Workplace Culture: No More Fat Cats Or Kissing Ass

Samar Birwadker, CEO & Co-Founder of Good & Co, on designing shared organizational values to optimize employee happiness and success

PSFK Labs Yesterday

PSFK’s Workplace Vision: The Annual Review Becomes An Everyday, Collaborative Activity

Our Future of Work vision is a web-based platform through which teams can collaborate on and monitor performance reviews across all channels, ensuring a happier workplace

Beauty Today

Design Your Own Custom Watch Faces

Customize your wrist device with Garmin's new app that lets you display personalized images or patterns

Syndicated Today

How The Olympics Taught Us Lessons In Cloud Analytics

Dan Vesset, group VP for analytics and information management at IDC, tells how cloud-based business analytics support decision-making

Beauty Today

Retail Expert: What Sustainability Means To The Millennial Generation

Jo Godden, Founder of RubyMoon, discusses how brands can limit their environmental impact worldwide

Arts & Culture Today

Artist Shuts Down Sexist Comments By Turning Them Into Images

Rora Blue explores social stigma in a photo series titled 'Handle With Care'

Arts & Culture Today

Japanese Face Wash Creates A Perfect Rose Every Time

Kanebo's latest addition to the Evita line includes an application that dispenses cleanser in the shape of a flower


Innovation Debrief: Boston
Business Concepts Born In 'The Hub'

Mobile Today

Twitter Bot Will Warn You If You Are A Troll

An online tool developed out of Intel's Hack Harassment movement helps filter out or notify cyber bullies

Retail Today

Passengers Can Now Earn Airline Miles For Sharing Their Location Data

The Frequent Flyer app measures background data and gives travelers points that can be exchanged for tickets with participating airlines

Advertising Today

The NBA Is Releasing Two Original Shows To Stream On Twitter

The sports league announced a deal that demonstrates an interesting expansion of its content strategy

No search results found.