Es Devlin is set to design a space-inspired UK pavilion for Dubai’s Expo 2020

27 September 2018
Reading Time
2 minute read

Es Devlin

Es Devlin, known for creating breath-taking large-scale performative sculptures for the likes of Beyonce, Kanye West, the Royal Opera House and the 2012 Olympic closing ceremony, will present the POEM PAVILION on behalf of the UK at the Expo 2020 in Dubai.
The award-winning artist and designer’s Pavilion will highlight the realms of artificial intelligence and space expertise developed in the UK.

Produced by Studio Es Devlin, Es’ predominantly female design studio, will collaborate with the London and Dubai based global brand experience agency Avantgarde for this project, which will fuse technology, poetry, light and sound, and an illuminated ‘Message to Space’ which each of the anticipated 25 million visitors to the Expo 2020 will be invited to contribute to.

“The idea draws directly on one of Stephen Hawking’s final projects, ‘Breakthrough Message’, a global competition that Hawking and his colleagues conceived in 2015 inviting people worldwide to consider what message we would communicate to express ourselves as a planet, should we one day encounter other advanced civilizations in space,” says Es.

She and her team of sound and video designers and algorithm creators know a thing or two about A.I. and impressive audiences — Es’ luminous fluorescent red Fifth Lion sculpture roared (quite literally!) A.I. generated collective poetry to the swelling crowds during the London Design Festival last week. And, to reference the scope of her reach, Es’ design for the London Olympic Closing ceremony reached a global audience of over a billion.

“The UK has an unparalleled record in Expo design,” Es explains. “From instigating the very first Expo in 1851 to the recent breathtaking pavilions of Thomas Heatherwick, Wolfgang Buttress, Asif Kahn and Brain Eno,” adding, “It’s a true honour be invited to take part.”
It’s the first time since it’s inception that the UK pavilion has been created by a female designer, and Es’ majority female team of experts in Artificial Intelligrence and Space technology will work closely with the artist.

“We urgently need to address the underrepresentation of women in STEAM (Science, technology, engineering, art and maths) occupations,” she puts forward. “My hope is that the fusion of architecture, poetry, music and science in this female-led project will attract and inspire girls and young women to investigate areas of science and technology that they might have otherwise felt weren’t for them”.


Es Devlin


Es Devlin

Share Article

Further Info

About the Author

Laura Isabella

It's Nice That Newsletters

Fancy a bit of It's Nice That in your inbox? Sign up to our newsletters and we'll keep you in the loop with everything good going on in the creative world.