Already three months active and remaining open until the end of October, the 2010 Shanghai World Expo has attracted as many as 500,000-plus visitors (or as low as 80,000-plus) per day with pavilions representing 195 countries, all working under the theme of “‘Better City, Better Life,’ representing the common wish of the whole humankind for a better living in future urban environments.” One pavilion — check Flickr for images of others — that has taken this theme to extreme heights is Latvia, who is treating visitors to its Technology of happiness, a three-story structure wrapped in 100,000 colorful, transparent, 15 ×15-centimeter plastic plates that houses a vertical tunnel that shoots people up in the air with, you bet, happiness. The Latvia pavilion even has its own happy identity, created by Latvian design firm Asketic.
The Latvia Pavilion’s concept is that they are transforming themselves from a “black box” that could get lost in the shuffle of 195 countries vying for your attention into, well, a factory of happiness.
I haven’t stepped into the wind tunnel but this identity is enough to make me happy. This is a lovely new take on flexible identities that really forms a complete visual language that doesn’t rely on a repetitive formula. What’s interesting is that at times the identity looks almost “dumb,” too simple and basic. But it has a strong, vibrant energy that makes it quite entertaining, and I relish that it doesn’t rely on shading to communicate dimension and depth. In its visual abundance it is surprisingly minimalist. It’s a shame that it’s only for a six-month project and not a larger, longer-lasting project.
You can see the full identity presentation here.
Plans are in development for coming back to Europe in Spring of 2018 with the current top contender host city of Barcelona.