Welcome to Campus Germany

Filed on September 30, 2021

The German Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai is aimed at education through innovation

In a reflection of the country’s role as a world leader in the field, the German Pavilion is located in the Sustainability District. Germany is, after all, the place where sustainability was invented, where the energy revolution known as the ‘Energiewende’ was born, and a place where science, industry and large parts of civil society are actively committed to securing a sustainable future. Sustainability is the subject of analysis, research, practice and development in Germany, which is what the title of the German Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai sets out to convey: Campus Germany.

This campus metaphor presents the pavilion as a place of knowledge, research, dialogue and human interaction — an image that fits in well with the theme of Expo 2020 Dubai. The German Pavilion will be a place that provides easily accessible information for visitors.

A place where they can play an active role and feel part of a large community that is working to ensure a sustainable future. A place that turns the Expo theme into reality.

The German Pavilion plot occupies a prominent position on the main thoroughfare of the Expo, a circular path connecting the three theme districts. Campus Germany will therefore be visible from afar from various directions — including from the Al Wasl Plaza, the centrepiece of the site. Conversely, the plot also offers a direct view of the host country’s pavilion, for which the UAE has commissioned Santiago Calatrava as the architect.

The design of the German Pavilion gives an architectural form to the underlying campus idea while also taking into consideration specific criteria to be met by the building. It combines functional aspects — such as space requirements, route layout and visitor experience — with environmental factors related to the pavilion’s position on the Expo site and the climate in Dubai. Sustainability also features strongly in the design.

The campus idea has been adapted to the local conditions and translated from the horizontal to the vertical: an open, welcoming ensemble of individual building volumes is framed by the ‘swaying’ lines of the plinth and roof, creating a striking, dynamic look.

This profusion of structures also represents Germany’s federal system and the diversity of its industry and research sectors.

The approach is edutainment-based with interactive content that delivers on fun and emotional value while also providing a wealth of information. The themed displays will present technical and scientific innovations from Germany in an easily accessible manner.

Welcome to Campus Germany (

With the help of digital innovations, the exhibition will become an intelligent space that responds to visitors individually and provides an unprecedented, customised exhibition experience. The technology used to do this was specially developed for the German Pavilion.

On their journey through the German Pavilion, visitors will come across several campus-related features. Everyone will be ‘enrolled’ and given a name badge when they enter the building. This is a small, personal gesture to establish the spirit of the campus— a place where everyone is equal and anyone can talk to anyone.

An ‘induction event’ will present the campus metaphor and the theoretical concept behind it — the Anthropocene, the era of human impact. It will explain that humankind has become the major factor influencing our planet today — both in negative and positive ways — and that there is hope if people work together to ensure sustainable living.

The next room, the Welcome Hall, will showcase Germany as an international centre for sustainability — in the, admittedly, rather surprising form of a pit of balls sporting the colours of Germany’s flag, black, red and gold. In fact, the 100,000 balls will contain data and each tells a short story, present a fact or feature a sustainability champion from Germany.

Welcome to Campus Germany (

Visitors will then move on to the actual ‘curriculum’, exploring three areas that each focus on a key sustainability issue. In the Energy Lab, with its dark, pulsating “energy cables”, they will discover energy supply solutions for the future. In the Future City Lab, they will become part of an all-encompassing urban landscape and explore innovations for the cities of tomorrow. And in the Biodiversity Lab, they will experience the beauty and vulnerability of nature beneath a suspended installation of magnificent proportions.

Between the labs, visitors will repeatedly find themselves on the terraces of the open atrium, where they can experience the campus in all its spectacular diversity. In line with the principles of collaboration and communication that underpin the German Pavilion concept, many of the exhibits here will only function if several people work together to operate them.

The visitor journey ends in the Graduation Hall with a surprising grand finale — a show on swinging seats. Aided by the intelligent IAMU system, visitors from all over the world will come to realise that there is much more that unites them than divides them. They will see that if they join forces — by swinging back and forth together, for example — they can achieve much more than they think. An unexpected end to the journey and one that will stir visitors’ emotions and give them a sense of hope.

Visitor engagement

As they make their way through Campus Germany, visitors will have numerous opportunities to engage with the exhibition by sharing their thoughts and opinions on questions such as, ‘Do you believe that you have ever experienced the effects of climate change?’ This will result in a detailed picture of their opinions, which, added to other information, will be integrated into the installations and the overall visitor experience. Visitors will come away with unexpected new perspectives on their ideas and attitudes.

Next-level interaction

The intelligent pavilion will also be full of entertaining “magical moments”, created, for example, by complex exhibits responding to visitors simply moving around — a place full of things that will have even the tech-loving audience in Dubai wondering.

The end product will be a smart space that responds to visitors and their interests. People are used to their smartphones offering them customised experiences but this exhibition will use the same intelligence and turn it into an invisible part of the space. Visitors will thus enjoy an individualised experience, tailored to their specific requirements, but without having to use their smartphones.

Courtesy: German Pavilion Press Office.

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