Charles Goulding Jr. takes a look at some of the spectacle, including 3D printed and high-tech, at the upcoming Expo 2020.
Back on Track
The Olympics aren’t the only world event to be delayed a year. Expo 2020, a six-month event originally scheduled for 2020, is now set to extend from October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022.
The event will be hosted by Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. Despite lingering restrictions and complications from Covid-19, Dubai expects the same amount of visitors as it did pre-pandemic — 25 million.
Americans may be more familiar with the term World’s Fair to describe the occasion. But in other parts of the world, the once-every-five-year event is termed an Exposition or Expo.
Expos are showcases of architecture and technology organized by pavilion. Almost two hundred countries will operate pavilions in Expo 2020.
Some additional facts via the BBC:
- The event is expected to boost Dubai’s economy by $33bn (£24bn) and to create up to 300,000 jobs
- The site covers 4.3sq km, or 613 football pitches, and will have its own metro station
- Uber will be testing flying cars during the event
- Some 90% of the materials used to in construction will then be used to create permanent buildings afterwards
There are thematic pavilions in addition to nation-themed showcases. This year, the highlight figures to be “Terra,” the sustainability pavilion that is the Expo’s centerpiece. Terra features “Energy Tree” structures fitted with solar panels that will be used to power the entire event (see image above).
The sustainability pavilion also features an immersive, “Wood Wide Web.” Patrons will walk among a forest before digging into a root structure where they learn about how trees talk to one another, share resources, and even collaborate to fight common foes. As the experience proceeds, guests learn about the interrelationships between themselves and the trees within the very pavilion.
“What we have built down there is a subterranean soap opera. We want everyone to come out of this place saying: ‘Wow: I had no idea I had so much in common with a tree’,” said John Bull, Terra’s Director.
3D Printing at the Expo
3D printing will also take center stage at the Expo, specifically within the Italy pavilion. At this very moment, the world’s most accurate reproduction of Michelangelo’s David is being 3D printed for display at the event. Ahead of viewing the 17-foot-tall statue itself, patrons can view time-elapsed documentation of the statue’s creation.
It’s unsurprising to see a 3D printing feature at Dubai’s Expo. Recently the Emirates introduced its first 3D printed house. The structure was the latest in a nationwide effort to become the world’s 3D printing capital.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, laid out the strategy in 2016. The approach includes an ambitious goal to 3D print 25% of all new construction within the Emirate by 2025.
Dubai views the Expo as crucial to its economic rejuvenation efforts. As the Emirate moves rapidly to get the pandemic under control within its borders, visitors across the world wait to see if indeed the event will be safe to attend. If so, the sustainability and 3D printing attractions will be fascinating to see.