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.


Flower Pencils Create Cherry Blossom Petals When Sharpened

Arts & Culture
Food Today

New York Restaurant Uses Tomato Sushi As Its Newest Meat Alternative

fresh&co is using sous vide Roma tomatoes to create a vegan option that has the texture and taste of tuna

Travel Today

Red Bull Converts Sao Paulo Payphones Into Data-Driven Bus Schedules

The booths allow city residents to check local transit times through a simple toll-free phone call


Get PSFK's Related Report: Innovation Debrief: Boston

See All
Retail Today

Why Experiential Events Could Replace Trade Shows

Marketers are seeking creative and impactful new ways to connect with influencers

Infants Today

Work Table Doubles As A Baby Seat

Designer Kunsik Choi created the furniture to facilitate emotional communication between between parents and their children

Arts & Culture Today

Album Turns Into Something New Each Time It’s Streamed

Bill Baird's new album explores the relationship between time and music through a website crafted by design team, One Pixel Wide

Technology Today

Wearable Device And Lamp Recreate Beautiful Sunsets In Your Home

Sun Memories can record up to six hours of natural light and reproduce it via a connected light at a later date


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed Today

Health Expert: Nutritional Meal Replacements Are A Solution To Corporate Wellness

Ample Foods Founder Conner Young explains why supplements are the next food trend coming to the workplace

PSFK Labs october 12, 2016

PSFK Picks: Top 5 Performance-Enhancing Wearables

Our new report looks at innovations pioneering the future of performance through intelligent activewear and predictive analytics

Augmented & Virtual Reality Today

The Simpsons Is Stepping Into The World Of VR

To celebrate their 600th episode, the animated family sitcom created a virtual reality version of their opening gag

Syndicated Yesterday

Museum Exhibit Celebrates Strange Architectural Contraptions

Artist William Heath Robinson's peculiar genius is on display in this recent show with wiggling ducts, jumbles of planks and coils of cable

Food Yesterday

This Sensor Will Help You Brew The Perfect Cup Of Tea Every Time

42Tea is a small device that guides you through every step of the brewing process, even identifying the type of leaves being used

Design & Architecture Yesterday

Norwegian Mountaineering Center Mimics A Snow-Capped Mountain

The structure's exterior is clad in a uniform surface of pixels to create a unique climbing experience

Gaming & Play Yesterday

Shopping Bag Turns Your Hands Into A LEGO

Designers from the School of Visual Arts thought up the Playbox Bag for a competition

Sustainability Yesterday

Giant Coffee Cups Encourage People To Recycle Their Morning Cup Of Joe

The Hubbub Foundation has created a set of themed bins meant to inspire recycling on a large scale

Home Yesterday

Small Device Creates A Personal Weather Station Inside In Your Home

Netatmo's new sensor is a standalone air quality monitor that can measure humidity, purity, noise and temperature

Social Media Yesterday

Advertising Proposal Aims To Be The Most “Instagrammable Billboard In The World”

The Belltower in Los Angeles would allow video advertising and live event streaming, and include a pedestrian plaza for visitors

No search results found.