Dubai Expo 2020

Category
Client
  • Buro Expo 2020
Industry

​​The first major World Expo since Milan Expo 2015, Expo 2020 Dubai is the first World Expo hosted in the Middle East region, hosts 192 countries, is expecting to receive 25 million visitors and incorporates the work of architects and designers from around the world. The aim of Expo 2020 is to celebrate culture, collaboration and innovation.

Ewel Coralic

The Challenge

The evolution of the masterplan of the Expo was a journey in itself.

The masterplan project underwent 2 complete redesigns in 2015 and 2018, requiring new wayfinding and signage concepts to align to new public realm designs. The Expo was additionally delayed for a year due to Covid-19, and had to surmount the challenges of manufacturing and shipping during a global pandemic.

Project Vision

As the first World Expo hosted in the Middle East, it was paramount to the organizers that designs showcase Emirati heritage and culture.

Taking a deep dive into cultural traditions and artisanal crafts, the signage design concept was inspired by the UNESCO-protected Emirati craft of Al Sadu weaving.

This international / local collaboration was an ideal opportunity to showcase Emirati traditions on the world stage to an international visitor base. The collaboration with the charitable foundation supported the weaver’s livelihood and promotes the continuation of this strand of Emirati heritage.

Sarah Manning, 2021

On-site installation of handcrafted Emirati Al Sadu through the Loom.

Peter Feldmann, 2019

Line-up of signage prototypes. Lighting tests in the evening at signage fabricator’s facilities

Jason O’Rear, 2021

Detail of Al Sadu Weaving and District ID

Jason O’Rear, 2021

Detail of Al Sadu Weaving and directional wayfinding content

Design & Execution

The fabrication of upwards of 3,500 signage elements took place over 20 months, involving 6 fabricators from Dubai to China.

Collaborators ranged from local weavers associated with a charitable foundation in the United Arab Emirates who produced 7 distinct Al Sadu woven textile patterns and colorways to identify different districts of the Expo, to large manufacturers in China who fabricated 12-meter-tall steel frames and shipped these to the Dubai Expo during the Covid pandemic.

Aidan Brown, 2022

Custom designed icons for male and female restrooms

Jason O’Rear, 2021

Evening view of Identity signage at the Sustainability pavilion.

Jason O’Rear, 2021

Day view of Identity signage at the Oasis park.

Slideshow

Dubai Expo 2020

Peter Feldmann, 2019

Opportunity District Identity. Evening shots showing lighting, Natural ropes and Al Sadu weaving

Sarah Manning, 2021

On-site installation of handcrafted Emirati Al Sadu through the Loom.

Peter Feldmann, 2019

Line-up of signage prototypes. Lighting tests in the evening at signage fabricator’s facilities

Jason O’Rear, 2021

Detail of Al Sadu Weaving and District ID

Jason O’Rear, 2021

Detail of Al Sadu Weaving and directional wayfinding content

Aidan Brown, 2022

Custom designed icons for male and female restrooms

Jason O’Rear, 2021

Evening view of Identity signage at the Sustainability pavilion.

Jason O’Rear, 2021

Day view of Identity signage at the Oasis park