Expo Dubai •• Kazakhstan Pavilion

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The gateway to tomorrow

At EXPO 2021 in Dubai, Kazakhstan is presented itself as a country rich in tradition and modern ideas. Innovative, immersive and interactive, visitors could dive into the past, present and future of the Central Asian state with all their senses. The Kazakhstan pavilion consisted of a detached rectangular shell with archways that revealed a golden core building beneath. Inspired by the latticework of traditional Kazakh circular tents, or yurts, the pavilion’s white outer facade was perforated with algorithmically arranged holes that allow building to breathe, and after dark to create a starry light display.

exhibition design •• architecture •• project lead & management •• show concept

Heritage, AI & Robotics — in dramatic curves

At the outset of the journey, in the waiting area, were replicas of prehistoric petroglyphs documenting three thousand years of nomad culture. The impressive video, image and sound installations in the pre-show then unveiled the genetic composition of the Kazakhpopulation via DNA codes. The lower main area featured an atmospheric and multi-sensory installation showcasing the country’s rich natural environments, biodiversity, natural resources and cultural heritage. Visitors swayed in the wind with the grass on the ‘Great Steppe’, explored sacred sites and artefacts with the help of authentic exhibits and tactile surface installations, examined the land’s rich natural assets in the lab and enjoyed an interactive experience of the country’s flora and fauna.

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After the excursion into the past it was time to take the staircase to the upper level, past a fascinating lenticular image bridging the ancient and modern worlds. The next exhibition area provided an exciting and innovative mixed media presentation of present-day Nur-Sultan city that brought the essence of Eurasia to life in a day-long cycle, and provided a vision of the city’s future.

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Main show – a flight through space and time

In the next ‘Future Now’ area, with its spaceship-like design, visitors got to see a kinetic art installation, captivating on-screen content and an impressive interactive table informing them about the country’s future projects, initiatives and challenges. The highlight and endpoint of the journey was the Main Show. Against the backdrop of an animated flight through space and time in 270° projection format, the acrobats interacted with a robotic arm in a multimedia show that documented the future of mankind, nature and AI.

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“Man and machine. Brilliant and beautiful.”

— Jury member, Exhibitor Magazine World Expo Award

“The main show was just awesome, I didn’t expect that. One of the best things I saw at Expo, good combination of robotics and human beings, really nice!”

— Kazakh pavilion visitor

“The main show was absolutely immersive. The entire pavilion has been one of the best I’ve seen so far, thank you for that, guys.”

— Kazakh pavilion visitor

“One of the greatest pavilions so far. The architecture is beautiful, the performance was immaculate, so great and nice fusion of the traditional and the conceptional.”

— Kazakh pavilion visitor

“This is the presentation of the future. I imagine we will see many, many clones of this in the coming years.”

— Jury member, Exhibitor Magazine World Expo Award
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