“New Nature” Romania’s National Pavilion

Expo Dubai 2020

Competition 1st prize
1285 sqm

The solutions contest’s purpose was selecting the best proposal for envisioning and creating Romania’s National Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai for assigning the design and curatorial contract. The theme of the 2020 Dubai Exhibition is "Connecting minds, creating the future". For developing the main theme, 3 subthemes were chosen: opportunities, mobility and sustainability, which are the expo’s main physical sections. 

Currently, in the context of a rapid and overwhelming societal change, Humanity’s greatest challenge is its connection with Nature. Taking inspiration from cultural traditions and nature’s balance, the New Nature concept aims to develop a new equilibrium, an awareness between man and nature. Nature is a resource that represents one pillar of Modern Romania.

The general statement at the Expo Dubai 2020 invites the visitors to connect and stay connected to a huge source of information about Romania, from the first contact with the Pavilion, presented through the sustainability theme. Romania’s presence at the Expo 2020 Dubai is not supposed to be only a “showcase” of its values and performances, but a real creative and dynamic hub, a space open towards innovation through a collaboration that connects Romania to the global culture through the “nature-technology” dichotomy.

“New nature” is neither a theoretical nor a scientific research, but focuses on change, acknowledgement and connection with Nature, findings which are to be found in forms of current social activities and manifestations such as awareness, hipsterization, nature bonding, hand making and social economy. In reference to the idea of “sustainability”, the Romanian pavilion will bring forward its cultural and scientific history in relation to nature, showing how through collaboration, innovation and use of past (natural resources, traditions, local customs) and present (technological and scientific innovation, cultural and artistic advance) resources, our heritage is relevant at a global level, aiming to fund a new model of sustainable development.

Inspired from a balance found in our very ecosystems, the Romanian presence at Expo Dubai aims to present an ensemble of interrelations between environment, resources, humans which interconnected can contribute to a balanced structure, an ideal dynamic, a smooth operation and not last can bestow new opportunities for development at a local, regional and global level. New Nature presents alternatives for shaping the future by exploiting the native potential and linking it to universal truths/ conditions, by sharing knowledge, ideas and resources that Romania possesses, aiming to open new doors in tackling current global issues through local solutions.

The whole experience inside the Pavilion represents a strategical course of action that offers the visitor the possibility to connect to the cultural and natural heritage of Romania, with the help of a variety of digital instruments and mobile apps. These ideas are not only an inspiring source of content for the pavilion’s architecture, but also for the curatorial collective of the exhibition. The purpose of this exhibition is to display the curatorial concept by using means of reflection such as awareness, emotional appraisal and reconnecting to the main impressions represented throughout the Expo: to bring the visitor to Romania through the encounter of this exhibition’s development.

Romania's Pavilion recalls both through architecture and design, the functionalities of a resonance box. Through a strategic and integrated communication campaign, carried out before, during and after the exhibition, the Pavilion will amplify the transmission, to the international public, of the messages that New Nature encompasses, thus managing to align with the general theme of Expo Dubai 2020 - "Connecting Minds, Creating the Future" and, also, to open new collaboration opportunities for global sustainable development, offering local solutions as a response to universal problems. One of the solutions can be the "repatriation" of the Pavilion at the end of the exhibition with the aim of transforming it into an alternative education center dedicated to students and young people. The construction will have the background of a previous "awareness" consolidated during Romania's presence in Dubai.

“New Nature” is the concept of the pavilion and the exhibition on which the entire project is built. We find ourselves and the planet in a very fragile equilibrium that cannot be sustained any longer. Therefore an urgent revision is necessary in order to reconnect rethink and recreate our future. This approach of finding a new valuable equilibrium we named New Nature.

The diagram marks the circulation paths throughout the pavilion and the curatorial sections, as follows:

I.      Artistic events 

II.     Video Exhibition Pure Romania

III.    Temporary Exhibitions

IV.    Romanian Water Springs

V.     Danube Delta Ecosystems

VI.    H2RO Water bar

VII.   Concept store H2RO

VIII.   Danube Delta 

IX.     Antipa

X.      Redesign Crafts

XI.     Digital tree 

XII.    Education

XIII.   Workshop Connecting Minds

XIV.   Exhibition

XV.    Relocating the pavilion exhibition

 Branding author: Otilia Fiastru 

Romania New Nature becomes a slogan, a memorable symbol. This wordmark continues the recurrence of water - as an element of the interior exhibition, in the water-bar and also in the surroundings of the pavilion. Thus, it has a tremor effect as if it is part of a water mirror, colored in cobalt blue - Romania's flag color. These elements - the logo, invitations, water bottles, paper gift bags and homepage site - all create the identity of the Romanian brand.