Expo 2020 Dubai: German pavillion promises to be a 'moving' experience

Dubai - Germany is the only country to have two pavilions.


Anjana Sankar

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Published: Tue 1 Jun 2021, 4:27 PM

Last updated: Tue 1 Jun 2021, 4:33 PM

“Keep the tissues ready. You will need it when you exit the German pavilion at Dubai Expo.”

Ambassador Peter Fischer cautions as he describes the unique ‘swinging experience’ awaiting visitors at the grand finale at the ‘graduation hall’ of the German pavilion.

“There are around 90 swings. As people swing together, a massive globe will slide down to the centre. People will realise that there is much more that unites them than divides them. I can tell you that it is an out-of-the-world experience that will make you cry. It will give you hope,” said Fischer in an exclusive interview with Khaleej Times.

Germany is the only country to have two pavilions – the official country pavilion representing the Federal Republic of Germany and a second house by Baden Wuttenberg – one of Germany’s sixteen federal states.

Built at a cost of 50 million Euros in the Sustainability District, the official German pavilion is designed like a ‘campus’ where visitors are ‘enrolled’ ‘inducted’ and offered a ‘curriculum’ in sustainability before they finally ‘graduate.’

“Our activities have impacted the earth. We need to make the planet sustainable and we can do it with our intelligence and creativity. If we come together, we can put global development back on track for future generations. That is the message that the German Pavilion, ‘CAMPUS GERMANY’, will set out to convey at Expo 2020 Dubai,” said the ambassador.

“We have made great strides in renewable energies. Nearly 40 percent of German’s electricity is made from renewable sources. Germany is also witnessing a revolution in sustainable transportation modes. We will be showcasing the best lessons in sustainability from our experience,” said the envoy.

In short, a visit to ‘Campus Germany’, the country where the “Energiewende” - the energy revolution - was born, will be a masterclass in sustainability.

Enter Campus Germany

The pavilion has inter-connected cubes with a central atrium at its heart.

“It is a green, open area, offering many surprising perspectives and panoramic views. Like a real campus, you will see people walking around, interacting like a true democratic place true to the EXPO theme of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future,” said Fischer.

The ‘enrolled’ visitors will be 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.

At the ‘induction event’, visitors will be introduced to ‘Anthropocene,’ or 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 rather surprising form of a pit of balls sporting the colours of Germany’s flag, black, red and gold. The 100,000 balls will contain data and each tell a short story, present a fact or feature a sustainability champion from 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.

World Premiere of IAMU technology

Fischer said the pavilion will also see the world premiere of IAMU a technology specially developed for the German Pavilion. “It will offer personalized communication with multilingual functionality based on the information that visitors have provided during the enrollment.”

As the visitors their way through ‘Campus Germany’, they will have numerous opportunities to engage with the exhibition by sharing their thoughts and opinions on questions such as, “Do you believe that you yourself 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 own ideas and attitudes.


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