A week at Expo 2017 #5: An immersion into Future Energy

A week at Expo 2017 #5: An immersion into Future Energy

How can exhibits captivate minds and educate a large and varied audience on the subject of “Future Energy”? As a Specialised Expo, Expo 2017 Astana brings the challenges and issues around its theme to a large audience, an objective that is achieved through architecture, forums, meetings, displays and, importantly, by an array of techniques and new technologies that offer deep and dynamic experiences with the Expo 2017’s “Future Energy” theme.

Interaction is key. In Austria’s pavilion, visitors have the chance to interact with the exhibits themselves to measure the real power of energy by using their own bodies to produce energy. This involves pulling weights to spin turbines and pedalling on bikes to generate enough energy to power different screens, culminating in an impressive musical performance.

Austria's Pavilion

In Theme Pavilion #1, less effort is needed as it is possible to create electricity just by stepping over a pedestrian crossing equipped with generators powered by movement. Interaction can be used in many ways, as shown by Germany’s pavilion which invites visitors to step up on a connected roundabout to understand smart grids, demonstrating the challenge of achieving equilibrium.

Learning about energy is also possible through interactive quizzes and games, such as those in Malaysia’s pavilion explaining the physics behind solar energy. Sound is also used everywhere to reach all the senses, from live musical performances to original soundscapes, such as the one composed by renowned musician Brian Eno for the UK pavilion. Presentations and live shows also trigger the interest of visitors of all ages, as can be experienced in Thailand’s pavilion or outside the African Community Plaza.

Thailand's performance

From touchscreens to huge screens, cinematic displays engage visitors in many pavilions. A popular example of this can be found in Thematic Pavilion #1, drawing the audience into a futuristic vision of a city powered by wind turbines and solar panels, connected to a smart grid, and featuring a modern and efficient system of public transport.

In Thematic Pavilion #2, everyone is equipped with their own smart key representing the “last drop of oil” and incarnating the need to transition towards renewable forms of energy. The key is to be plugged into interactive tables to symbolically share the energy with the more than one billion people in the world who do not have access to electricity. The same key can later be used to discover how much CO2 is produced by ordinary day-to-day activities, and in the last room, the drop of oil is symbolically cast away to allow hundreds of miniature wind turbines to start spinning. The meaning of the theme is therefore easily understandable to all visitors, with the final message: “Future Energy is ever to be with children.”

Thematic Pavilion #2

Immersive technologies bring energy to life. With extensive use of Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality, national and thematic pavilions are bringing energy to participants. From Nicolas Tesla’s experience in Serbia’s Pavilion to virtual flying in the pavilions of Monaco or the World Expo Museum, the options are plentiful to transport everyone into the world of Energy.

Monaco's pavilion

Opinions given by external contributors to the Expo Blog do not necessarily reflect the views and position of the BIE