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“Why not Spokane?” – celebrating 50 years of Expo '74

Between 4 May and 2 November 1974, the City of Spokane in the US State of Washington gathered the world for a Specialised Expo under the theme of “Celebrating Tomorrow’s Fresh New Environment”. Gathering 5.6 million visitors, Expo 1974 was the first ever to have a specific focus on the environment, and the development of the site was centered around a large-scale clean-up of the city’s environment and the Spokane River. The City this year celebrates the 50th anniversary by taking inspiration from this remarkable event, explains Matt Santangelo, the Program Manager of Expo '74 50th Celebration.

Crafting unity in diversity: Sou Fujimoto’s vision for Expo 2025 Osaka Kansai

As Expo 2025 Osaka Kansai marks the one-year countdown until its grand opening on 13 April 2025, all eyes are turned towards the development of the 155-hectare Expo site, where construction work is at full pace. The site’s overall characteristics can already be seen, most notably the 2-kilometer Grand Ring that is now almost 80 per cent complete. Sou Fujimoto, the Expo Site Design Producer and architect behind this structure, shares his insights with the BIE.

Participation aux Expositions – Partage d’expériences à Libreville

 Du 13 au 15 février dernier, la première session multilatérale du Programme de Renforcement des Capacités, organisée par le Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) en partenariat avec le Gouvernement du Gabon, s'est tenue à Libreville. Au cours de cet événement, Nina Abouna (Gabon), Patrice Nimi (Angola), Tiranké Virginie Keita Kabassan (Guinée) et Noboyuki Ariyama (Expo 2025 Osaka Kansai) ont partagé avec le BIE, leurs points de vue et enseignements. Ces discussions, à un peu plus d'un an de la prochaine Exposition Universelle, Expo 2025 Osaka Kansai, offrent des perspectives pratiques et des retours d'expérience sur les défis associés à la participation aux Expositions.

Creating a World Expo for future society

Opening in less than 500 days, Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai will gather more than 160 international participants on Yumeshima Island to engage visitors on the theme “Designing Future Society for Our Lives”. As preparations accelerate and construction gains pace, the Commissioner-General of the Expo, Ambassador Koji HANEDA shares his expectations of the next World Expo and what it will mean for future society.

Planting the seeds of sustainability at Expo 2023 Doha

Having opened its gates on 2 October, Horticultural Expo 2023 Doha brings the world together under the theme “Green Desert, Better Environment”. Aimed at building greener and more sustainable communities, the Expo has already inspired hundreds of thousands of visitors in its opening weeks. The Secretary General of Expo 2023 Doha, Mohamed Ali Alkhoori, reflects on the significance of this event and the opportunities it presents for Qatar.

A virtual visit to the European Community pavilion at Expo 1958 Brussels

A new virtual reality exhibition, THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY AT EXPO 58, brings the pavilion of the European Coal and Steel Community Pavilion at Expo 1958 Brussels back to life. Visitors are invited to explore a 3D model of the pavilion through a virtual tour at the Jean Monnet House or online. The exhibition is based on Anastasia Remes' PhD research, which she conducted at the History Department of the European University Institute. On the 65th anniversary of the Expo, Dr. Remes lays out the story behind the exhibition and highlights the importance of the pavilion at a crucial time for European integration.

Envisioning a greener future at Expo 2023 Doha Qatar

With the theme “Green Desert, Better Environment”, Horticultural Expo 2023 Doha, Qatar will gather countries from around the world around the collective aim of building greener and more sustainable communities. With the Expo opening in one year – on 2 October 2023 - the Secretary General of Expo 2023 Doha, Mohamed Ali AlKhoori lays out the Expo’s guiding principles and explores its expected impact.

Visions for a Future Society for Our Lives: Part II

With less than 1,000 days until the opening of Expo 2025 Osaka Kansai, themed “Designing Future Society for Our Lives”, this second part of the Vision for a Future Society series looks at the people and the ideas behind the next World Expo’s Signature Pavilions. After July’s instalment, discover this month the future visions of Shoji Kawamori (Totality of Life), Kundo Koyama (Cycle of Lives), Sachiko Nakajima (Invigorating Lives), and Hiroaki Miyata (Resonance of Lives).

Visions for a Future Society for Our Lives: Part I

On 18 July, Expo 2025 Osaka Kansai marks the 1,000-day countdown to the opening of the next World Expo. As part of the development of its theme “Designing Future Society for Our Lives”, Expo 2025 Osaka Kansai has entrusted eight thematic projects to experts in their domain with a focus on working towards a better future for humankind. In the first of a two-part series, four of these producers discuss their philosophy and the Signature Pavilions they are creating for the Expo. Discover the future society visions of Shin-Ichi Fukuoka (Quest of Life pavilion), Naomi Kawase (Embracing Lives pavilion), Hiroshi Ishiguro (Amplification of Lives pavilion), and Yoichi Ochiai (Forging Lives pavilion).

Kuang-Yi Ku, Moon Ginseng, 2018

Opening its doors on 15 July, the 23rd edition of the Triennale Milano International Exhibition tackles the question of the unknown through its theme “Unknown Unknowns. An Introduction to Mysteries”. With so many challenges, both known and mysterious, facing the world, this latest International Exhibition will offer new perspectives through its constellation of thematic and international exhibits. Stefano Boeri, President of Triennale Milano and Ersilia Vaudo, curator of the thematic exhibition, delve into the meaning and aspirations of the 23rd Triennale Milano.

Expo 2025 Osaka Kansai: co-creation to design future society

With Expo 2020 Dubai closing its gates on 31 March, Japan is gearing up to be the host country of the next World Expo, taking place in Osaka, Kansai. Opening in just over three years time, Expo 2025 Osaka Kansai will gather, once again, countries from around the world, this time under the theme of “Designing Future Society for Our Lives”. The Secretary General of the Japan Association for Expo 2025 Osaka Kansai shares his thoughts at this important juncture for the next World Expo.

World Majlis: Creating a better future through conversation

If World Expos are notable for their stunning architecture, immersive experiences, and dazzling performances, they are also unique venues for meaningful dialogue and deep discussion. By gathering people with diverse backgrounds from across the world, World Expos provide a platform for the exchange of ideas and the formation of new relationships. At Expo 2020 Dubai, this dialogue is taking place in a myriad of ways, with the World Majlis standing out as a unique approach – innovative yet inspired by tradition – for fostering and shaping conversations about the future. With nine of the Expo’s ten theme weeks now completed, Dr. Federica Busa, Expo 2020 Dubai’s Senior Vice President, Visitor Experience, explains the role and contribution of the Majlis to the Expo’s thematic discussions.

Image credit: Feenstra Fotografie

Almere in the Netherlands is the stage for the next International Horticultural Exhibition, Floriade Expo 2022, opening its gates from 14 April to 9 October 2022. Countries from around the world and partners from the horticultural sector will present innovations and solutions for sustainable and liveable cities. The entire 60-hectare site will focus on the theme “Growing Green Cities”, and is set to offer visitors spectacles, green inspiration and unforgettable experiences. As the final touches are being made to the site of the Horticultural Expo, the CEO of Floriade Expo 2022, Hans Bakker, reflects on his expectations for the Expo as a global platform for the green city of the future.

Expo 2020 Dubai – unlocking opportunities for Asia

With its theme “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”, Expo 2020 Dubai offers multiple opportunities for the whole world, with a particularly strong interest in the World Expo from Asia’s emerging economies. Both situated in the Opportunity District, Indonesia and Viet Nam are participating in Expo 2020 Dubai to expand their connections with other countries and to work together in the creation of a more sustainable future. Didi Sumedi, the Commissioner-General of Indonesia, and Nguyen Phuong Hoa, the Commissioner-General of Viet Nam, lay out the reasons why Expo 2020 Dubai is such a crucial meeting point for their countries.

Latin America on the move at Expo 2020 Dubai

Expo 2020 Dubai is a point of connection for the whole world, with countries from far and wide participating with their own pavilions in the Opportunity, Sustainability and Mobility Districts. Latin American countries are embracing Expo 2020 Dubai’s theme of “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”, and four of these nations - all participating in the Mobility District – have a particular vision they are keen to share with the world.

H.E. Jorge Daccarett, the Commissioner-General of Chile, Salvador Gomez, the Commissioner-General of El Salvador, Martha Jaramillo, the Commissioner-General of Mexico, and Amora Carbajal, the Commissioner-General of Peru, explain why the Expo is so important and how it serves as a platform for sharing their own countries’ vision for a more sustainable, connected, and high-tech future.

Expo 2020 Dubai, Durabilité et Afrique

L’Expo 2020 Dubai est la première Exposition Universelle organisée au Moyen-Orient, Afrique et Asie du Sud. Célébration de l’ingéniosité humaine autour du thème « Connecter les Esprits, Construire le Futur », elle met en avant des problématiques auxquelles tous les pays participants sont invités à réfléchir pour imaginer ensemble les modèles de développement du futur.

Avec tous les pays du continent africain présents, l’Exposition Universelle est une occasion unique pour y partager leurs projets et leurs réalisations, rechercher des investissements et des solutions aux défis communs et forger de nouvelles relations à travers le monde.

Inspiring visitors to live greener and healthier lives

Floriade Expo 2022 Amsterdam-Almere will open its gates to the public in less than a year under the theme “Growing Green Cities”. As preparations gather pace on the site, the Floriade’s Commissioner-General Annemarie Jorritsma - the former mayor of Almere and a former minister - shares her beliefs and expectations for this transformational green event.

Expo Live: unlocking opportunities to shape the future

On 1 October 2021, Expo 2020 Dubai will open to the public, embarking visitors on a discovery of its theme, “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”, through educational and immersive exhibitions and events. Less than six months before it opens, the achievements of the Expo Live programme demonstrates the real-life impact that Expo 2020 Dubai is already having around the world. Yousuf Caires, Senior Vice President, Expo Live, explains the importance of this unique initiative and offers a glimpse of how Expo 2020 Dubai is delivering positive change.

Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai: connection, collaboration and co-creation

World Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai will open to the public in 1,500 days, embarking millions of visitors on a six-month discovery of its theme “Designing Future Society for Our Lives”.

On this occasion, Hiroyuki Ishige, the Secretary-General of the Japan Association for the 2025 World Exposition, sets out the vision for the World Expo as well as the various programmes being organised in preparation for the event.

World Expos and the celebration of Human Fraternity

On 4 February, the United Nations and countries around the world are marking, for the first time, the International Day of Human Fraternity. Maher Nasser, the Commissioner-General of the United Nations at Expo 2020 Dubai, takes this occasion to explain the significance of this new International Day and to reflect on the role that World Expos can play in reaffirming and strengthening global solidarity.

On the importance of an “interference” between art and science

On 1 December 2020, the 167th General Assembly of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) formally recognised the 23rd edition of the International Exhibition of Triennale Milano, taking place between 20 May and 20 November 2022 under the theme “Unknown Unknowns”. To mark this important step, Stefano Boeri, President of Triennale Milano, reflects on the past, present and future of the International Exhibition of Triennale Milano.

Al Wasl Plaza: the heart and soul of Expo 2020 Dubai

Al Wasl Plaza, designed by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, will be the centrepiece of Expo 2020 Dubai. With one year until the opening of the World Expo, Gordon Gill explains what Al Wasl Plaza is, and shares his thoughts on how this central hub will make a dramatic impression on visitors to Expo 2020 Dubai and have a lasting impact on Dubai.

The Road towards Expo 2020 Dubai

Preparations for Expo 2020 Dubai are continuing as the world faces an unprecedented health crisis. While the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is affecting people’s lives in many different ways, participating countries are finding new and creative ways to interpret the theme of the Expo, “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future” and plan their pavilions. The BIE asks H.E. Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa, Commissioner General for Bahrain, Paolo Glisenti, Commissioner General for Italy, Adrian Malinowski, Commissioner General for Poland, and Pyung-oh Kwon, Commissioner General for the Republic of Korea, about the journey towards the next World Expo.

Expo 2020 Dubai: Reconnecting the world to shape the future

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is changing lives around the world and raising important questions about what kind of future is best for the planet and for humankind. World Expo 2020 Dubai – now set to open to the public on 1 October 2021 following a vote by the General Assembly of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) – will address these questions and more, as 190 countries gather around the theme “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”.

In an interview with the BIE, Severi Keinälä, Commissioner General for Finland, Clayton Kimpton, Commissioner General for New Zealand, Fahad A. Alyabis, Commissioner General for Saudi Arabia, and Laura Faulkner OBE, Commissioner General for the United Kingdom, reflect on the opportunities Expo 2020 Dubai will bring to the post-Covid era.

World Expo 1939 New York

Opening on 30 April 1939, New York’s World Expo 1939 promoted “Building the World of Tomorrow” in a period marked by the Great Depression and spectre of upcoming war. While many futuristic pavilions and displays enthralled visitors, one of the most outlandish was ‘The Dream of Venus’, a surrealist funhouse created by Salvador Dalí. On the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the Expo and the 30th anniversary of the artist’s death, Montse Aguer, the Director of the Dalí Museums, recounts how the pavilion transgressed the modernism of the Expo and explains the significance of this work to Dali’s personal vision.

La Triennale di Milano © Gianluca Di Ioia

The XXII Triennale di Milano, themed “Broken Nature: Design Takes on Human Survival” will open to the public on 1 March 2019. In an interview with the BIE, the President of the Triennale di Milano Foundation, Stefano Boeri, and the Curator of the XXII Triennale, Paola Antonelli, explain how this 22nd edition will explore the role of design in addressing the compromised bonds that connect humans to the natural environment.

Points of View: Nation Branding at World Expos

For participating countries, World Expos are major platforms for national branding, offering a unique opportunity to showcase themselves to a large public audience. With almost two years until the next World Expo in Dubai, the BIE interviews Ambassador Nicolas Bideau, Head of Presence Switzerland, Dietmar Schmitz, Commissioner General for Germany at Expo 2020 Dubai, and Dr. Jian (Jay) Wang, director of the USC Center on Public Diplomacy, to gain three different insights into nation branding at World Expos.

The Space Needle. Courtesy of Chad Copeland

Seattle’s iconic Space Needle – built as the centrepiece of World Expo 1962 – recently unveiled a dramatic $100 million “spacelift”, notably featuring a revamped observation deck and the world’s first revolving glass floor. On this occasion, the BIE interviewed Knute Berger, consulting historian at the Space Needle and Seattle-based author, journalist and commentator.

© Atomium. Photo: Christophe Licoppe

Belgium celebrates this year the 60th anniversary of World Expo 1958 in Brussels. On this occasion, the BIE interviewed Henri Simons, Director of the Atomium and ADAM – Brussels Design Museum, who explains how this event has marked several generations and why it is still so popular today.

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