An experience designed to raise the visitor’s awareness and call him or her to take action. The Germany Pavilion aimed to do both: indeed the theme of Germany’s participation in the Universal Exhibition was Field of Ideas, but the motto of the Pavilion was Bee Active, a play on words that invited visitors to be as busy as bees.
And the fields in Germany must be truly lush with ideas: indeed, the exhibition itinerary made use of all its architectural elements to get its message across. Starting from the staircase leading visitors up to the terrace, made of steps of different kinds of wood (all from Germany), which resembled cultivated fields when viewed from above.
This landscape was home to stylized plants, “seedlings of ideas” that rose from the exhibition spaced up to the exterior surface, opening out on to a large roof of textile foliage. These leaves hosted ultra-light photovoltaic panels. The terrace was complete with exhibitions on the characteristics of the 16 Länder of the federation.
SeedBoards and ambassadors, the essential tool and travelling companions
The exhibition layout effectively began when the visitor walked around the exterior facade of the building. Each visitor received a SeedBoard, a tool on which texts, images, films and games could be projected.
In the Pre-Show, the prelude to the exposition, the visitor met a number of German citizens who work in the field of sustainable agriculture, and here presented their projects as ambassadors of the various areas of the itinerary: water, soil, climate and biodiversity.
A blue area hosted various stands featuring German ideas and projects related to water, such as water procurement systems or ways of recovering phosphorus as an essential fertilizer for plants. In the part dedicated to the earth, a number of displays and interactive exhibition installations transmitted information about practical designs for managing the land, such as agro-forestation to prevent phenomena of soil erosion and to stabilize the water equilibrium.
In the next area, the lines of a weather map guided the visitor through the world of isobars, high and low pressure, and warm and cold fronts. Here a series of innovative solutions were presented, combining the protection of the climate, sustainable procurement, energy and power supply solutions, such as the agro-photovoltaic system, and the combined use of surfaces for energy and agriculture. In conclusion, an archive illustrated the full range of forms of life and the elements that make up the world of plants.
Visitors could scour stylized objects in the form of different species of seeds. These objects presented designs and ideas that favor the conservation and promotion of biodiversity, including the Gene Bank in Gatersleben, one of the largest in the world for crop plants.
The impact of our daily decisions is fundamental
In the area dedicated to food, the focus was on how this can be managed sensibly and on the effects of the decisions we all make on a day-to-day basis. Large shelves full of stylized foods showed the variety of products available in the supermarkets. Here the attention was particularly focused on the impact of our daily choices. A fake mountain of garbage attempted to raise visitors’ awareness about the problems caused by waste and displays ideas and solutions that enable us to avoid generating it.
In the itinerary that led to the floor above, the natural climate and greenery of nature welcomed visitors in, and invited them, now at the end of their stroll through the Pavilion, to lose themselves in the “Garden of ideas”. The table in the middle of the area gave them a glimpse of German cuisine and illustrated the value of eating together with a selection of school projects and initiatives by social society.
A show that is a direct call to action
Finally, the visitor gained access to the show. Here, he could see the world through the eyes of two bees, with whom he embarked upon a journey over Germany. The whole experience was led by two artists, known as “BeeJ”: with their hands, voices and SeedBoards, the visitors became an orchestra and recreated the fascinating sounds of nature.
With its inviting picnic areas and the regional specialties on offer, the Germany Pavilion encouraged visitors to have fun and relax, just as they would in a public park.
The Pavilion also offered a family restaurant with a more informal feel, and the German restaurant Simphonie, with gourmet delicacies.
Discover the Germany Pavilion in the Expo Milano 2015 archive