What is the EXPO?
The term EXPO nowadays refers to the Universal Exhibitions organized and recognized by the Bureau International des Expositions (International Bureau of Exhibitions, based inParis). Exhibitions that are hosted by a single country with many other nations participating. The first Universal Exhibition, better known as the Great Exhibition, was held inLondonin 1851 at theCrystalPalaceinHyde Park.
A key characteristic of the universal or international exhibitions is that only part of the building structures are dismantled at the end of the event, while the main ones usually get reused and converted. Some of these installations have gone on to become national or urban landmarks, such as the Eiffel Tower (Exposition Universelle of1889 inParis), the Arts and Industries Building of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington (Centennial Exposition of 1876), the Aquarium of Genoa (Expo 1992), and many others.
Switzerland at EXPO 2015 and the accompanying programs
The Swiss Pavilion
The first country to join and sign the participation agreement,Switzerlandthen, in May 2012, officially presented its pavilion project for Expo Milano 2015. The project by architects Noah Baumgartner and Daniel Christen of Netwerch GmbH, entitled “Confooderatio Helvetica”, was selected by a panel of experts out of 103 entries, as part of the international competition organized by Presence Switzerland of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. The team of young architects from Brugg convinced the judges with a clear message that stimulates reflection on fair distribution, the interdependencies in the food industry, personal responsibility and consumer behavior. The Swiss pavilion, covering an area of 4,432 m2, features a large open space and four towers that can be seen from afar, filled with typical Swiss products. Visitors enter the four towers via elevators and can help themselves to Swiss food specialties. As the towers are emptied, the platforms on which they rest are lowered, changing the structure of the pavilion. The gradual emptying of the towers will be recorded and relayed in real time and can be followed via social media. Through this experience, visitors are encouraged to reflect on their own eating habits, showingSwitzerlandas a caring and responsible country. A pavilion for eating and tasting that will arouse the visitors’ curiosity and encourage them to explore the pavilion and play a central role. Once dismantled, the towers will be used in cities as urban greenhouses. The project focuses on many aspects, such as the worldwide availability and distribution of food, and gets visitors to reflect on their own eating habits.
The accompanying programs of Switzerland for EXPO 2015
The "Giro del Gusto"
Clean, tidy, beautiful, precise, isolated, green and prosperous. This is how Italians seeSwitzerlandaccording to a study carried out in 2011. An image based on deep-rooted clichés, which over the years have given a clear yet over simplistic identity to this country that is so close to Italy geographically, culturally and economically, starting with the common Italian language and culture.
In his book “À la recherche du temps perdu”, Marcel Proust wrote: "The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes". And it is through fresh eyes, that are more curious and receptive, that the Swiss Confederation would like to present itself and showcase all its qualities toItaly. With this aim the Giro del Gusto 2014 (or Taste Tour) was born, an initiative conceived as a roadshow inMilan,RomeandTurinin the lead up to Expo 2015. The theme of Expo 2015 “Feeding the planet, Energy for life” is the perfect starting point for a roadshow based on a common and universal denominator: taste. The taste ofSwitzerlandin the strict sense is discovered through its specialty foods, while the taste ofSwitzerlandin the broad sense is discovered through its architecture, design, culture, tourism and transport.
For the full program visit: www.padiglionesvizzero.ch
Viavai - Cultural exchange between Switzerland and Lombardy
The 'Viavai' program aims to strengthen the network of contacts and increase creative and productive synergies between Swiss and Lombard cultural institutions and players. The cultural exchange is built around two themes: on one hand the cross-border axis, which places at the center the impact of the Italian language and culture on the border areas and highlights the importance of “Italianness” as a fundamental element of Swiss and European identity; on the other the transalpine axis, mainly involving the large urban centers such as Milan and Zurich and exploring the relationship between art and technology.
Specifically, between autumn 2014 and spring 2015,19 bi-national projects covering various artistic disciplines, selected by a panel of experts from among 70 proposals, will involve numerous localities inSwitzerlandandLombardyin activities and events.
“Viavai” is one of the cross-border exchange programs promoted by Pro Helvetia, including “La belle voisine”, involving the entire Swiss territory and the Rhône-Alpes region, and the tri-nation exchange program “Triptic”, currently in progress, betweenAlsace, Baden-Württemberg and North Western Switzerland.
The initiative is organized by Pro Helvetia, in partnership with the cantons of Ticino and Valais, the city ofZurich, the Ernst Göhner Foundation and with the support of the Lombardy Region.
For more information visit www.viavai-cultura.net
Italy at EXPO 2015
The Italian Pavilion
Showcasing Italian excellence: both the national culture and the traditions related to food and nutrition, which are characterized by the high quality of raw ingredients and finished products. The Italian participation is present both within the exhibition space, located along the Cardo, and the Palazzo Italia, the representative building for the Italian State and Government, which acts as the institutional meeting place between the host country and participating countries. The location of the exhibition space reserved for the European institutions, in front of Palazzo Italia and closely connected with the Cardo, symbolically emphasizes the close relationship betweenItalyandEurope
Palazzo Italia is located at the symbolic heart of the Exhibition Site and will remain after the Expo as a center of technological innovation for the city. The project, designed by the firm Nemesis & Partners Srl in collaboration with Proger SpA and BMS Progetti Srl, is inspired by landscape architecture:
- Emotional: paths full of suggestions, vibrations and lights, lead to the building of the Palazzo Italia that appears as a forest
- Sustainable: essential and clear as a work of land art, Palazzo Italia is a spectacular and energetically sustainable entity
- Technology: the building interacts and exchanges energy with the environment through technological devices
Four functional blocks distributed on the main square house the exhibition space, the event area, the office area and the institutional area. A panoramic roof terrace allows visitors to enjoy a spectacular view over the exhibition grounds.
Along the Cardo: The Italian Pavilion
Every Italian is well aware of the image of the village that has marked the history of many cities. It is with this image in mind that the structure of the exhibition space located along the Cardo has been created, representing the variety and richness ofItalyand its various identities. In the northern part the territories and regions ofItalyare presented, while the southern part shows Made inItalythrough a major exhibition of national excellence in the area of food and sustainability.
For more information on the pavilion program visit: www.padiglioneitaliaexpo2015.com