Spain Pavilion – Onionlab

Spain Pavilion

Onionlab has collaborated with External Reference in the design and creation of the exhibition journey of the Spanish Pavilion for the Expo Dubai 2020, organised and coordinated by Acción Cultural Española (AC/E).

The Pavilion is dedicated to sustainability and collective intelligence and for this purpose a participatory, lively and educational experience has been created, working at the intersection of art, design and technology under the slogan “Intelligence for life”.

The exhibition tour begins on the upper floor, which has an analogical and mechanical focus. It consists of a succession of open squares where a series of installations synthesise some of the most relevant contributions of Spanish culture to the world and highlight the relationship between Spain and Arab culture.

On the lower floor is the Forest of Intelligence, a 3D printed artificial forest that immerses visitors in an extraordinary world.

The floor is also interactive and features various elements, such as luminous leaves, abstract butterflies and the roots of the tree itself, with which visitors can interact.

The production, which is much more digital and technological, allows visitors to discover ground-breaking and pioneering Spanish initiatives and sustainable projects via animated graphics, infographics, holograms, interactive floors, mappings on 3D models, large format audiovisual pieces and interactive installations.

The ‘Tree of Balance’, the final section of the Forest, is the interactive heart of the tour. It is a 3D printed tree that occupies the entire back wall of the exhibition, its roots spread across the topography becoming the screens that visitors can use to answer a series of questions about the sustainability of their habits. The questions can also be answered on the App.

The evaluation of each user’s answers is judged in terms of their sustainability and translated as drops for the tree: blue if they are sustainable, red if they are not.  The total of all the drops determines the state of the tree and the forest in general: it becomes green and lush with more blue drops or it loses its leaves and dries out with red drops, and can go through a total of 5 different states. Visitors are faced with a very visual image of their habits which makes them rethink their consumption.

As they leave the forest the people pass through the “Accelerators of the Future”, the area dedicated to Spanish start-ups that are leading businesses in the field of sustainability.

This area displays a model that unveils the latest revolution in the transport sector: Hyperloop, the world’s fastest land-based transport system for fully electric and automated intercity travel, in Spain represented by the company Zeleros.

The exhibition journey of the Spanish pavilion ends at the exit ramp that leads visitors outside.

Next, a set of headlines about the virtues of the quality of life in Spain alternates with screens showing slow-motion portraits of Spanish citizens, that represent the country’s plurality. In total, 9 vertical screens have been distributed interposed with significant data on health, education, talent, justice and equality.

Client/ curator:  AC/E (Acción Cultural Española) AC/E (Acción Cultural Española)

Conceptual direction
Carmelo Zappulla – External Reference
Aleix Fernandez Curell – Onionlab

Management of Architectural design of exhibitions
Carmelo Zappulla – External Reference

Amin Bigdeli – External Reference
Sebastián Amorelli – External Reference
Stefano Fontolan – External Reference
Vianella Maestra – External Reference
Ilaria Rampazzo – External Reference

Content management and script
Aleix Fernandez Curell – Onionlab
Neith Sentis – Onionlab

Document management
Carlos Leon
Hèctor Castells
Mireia Canals – Onionlab

Management of multimedia productions
Jordi Pont Beltran – Onionlab
Aleix Fernandez Curell – Onionlab

Technical directors
Lluís Cuscó – Lloc Audiovisuals
Jordi Pont Beltran – Onionlab

Graphic design directors
Chu Uroz
Pablo Rovalo – Research Studios BCN
Aleix Fernandez Curell – Onionlab
Berta Gonzalez – Onionlab

Graphic design team
Margarida Beatriz Tamares Pereira – Onionlab
Jorge Rivera Olaya – Onionlab

Production architecture management
Marina Cella – External Reference

Content Production Management
Neith Sentis – Onionlab
Laia Alabart – Onionlab
Mariana Torres – Onionlab

AV content production: The Others

Construction of display elements: Empty/Acciona