Ahead of the opening of Expo Milano 2015, designboom visited the vast site to go behind the scenes of the Japanese pavilion. Responding to the overall theme of ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life’, Japan joins Expo Milano 2015 with the aim of proposing its food culture as an example of a healthy, sustainable and balanced diet. In addition, the country also sees the event as an opportunity to promote its image following the devastating 2011 earthquake, encouraging tourism and business opportunities. designed by architect Atsushi Kitagawara, the pavilion contains installations by high profile Japanese creatives Nendo and Teamlab.
The pavilion fuses traditional culture with advanced technology, employing a compressive strain method in which joints consist only of carved wood, without metal couplers. The use of timber as a renewable resource also connects the scheme to issues of forest maintenance and protection. The three-dimensional wooden grid symbolizes the origin of Japan’s seasonal variation – envisioned as a ‘Bowl of Diversity’.
Under the theme of ‘Harmonious Diversity’, creative studio Teamlab showcases two art exhibits within the pavilion. The interactive installations are spread across two rooms, comprising an immersive projection space that requires the visitor to wade through a technological expanse, to a digital waterfall of information, relaying descriptive knowledge about Japanese food.
As part of the pavilion, Japanese studio Nendo has designed a sloping dining table accompanied with a set of matching chairs. The 24 seats align themselves with the height of the table, which ascends gradually so that items placed on its surface do not move. The individual pieces of cutlery and tableware have also been designed by nNendo.