Monday, December 03, 2007

"A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" in Zaragoza

Bob Dylan's has recorded a new version of "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" to promote next year's Expo Zaragoza 2008.
Amaral will play the Spanish version of the song.

I leave you with the less than 5 minutes advertisement where Bob Dylan sings his beautiful song and, at the very end, explains he wants to help to make sure that there is clean water for the around 1000 million people missing it.

That’s great support for the international Zaragoza exhibition but also a great responsibility to make sure the Expo really helps to improve the current situation.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Japanese sustainable civilization shows wisdom at Expo Zaragoza

“In the land of Asian Monsoon climate and ragged terrain, with geographical limitations surrounded by sea on all four sides, Japanese people have developed skills, culture and lifestyles that live in harmony and symbiosis with nature, rather than confronting it….”.
The above explains why “Harmony with Water, Wisdom and Skills” is the theme for the Japanese pavilion at Expo Zaragoza 2008.

I think is a cool theme. Honestly, I think we all have a lot to learn from Japan, especially taking into account they previous Experience in Expo 2005 in Aichi under the them of ”Nature’s wisdom”.

In addition to help us to understand the Japanese philosophy from the EDO period , to enter the Japanese pavilion will also be an opportunity to see first hand cutting-edge technologies that help to solve global-scale tasks. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Water for Life: Zaragoza put on the map (of United Nations)

Under the United Nations Charter all humans are guaranteed the right to life (and as water is necessary for life…) however in practice this is an empty right for….1.200 million people. This is nothing new. But something is moving in Zaragoza. A brand new United Nations office to support the International Decade for Action “Water for Life” 2005-2015 just opened there on the 5th of October 2007.

But why in Zaragoza? The main reasons put forward by Spain in support of Zaragoza’s candidacy were:- The commitment of the Spanish government to environmentally-friendly water policies, both within Spain and internationally. - The strong links between Aragón and Zaragoza and the issue of water, for historical, institutional, economic and social reasons. - The constant promotion by Aragón’s regional government of the proper use of water, with innovative policies achieving impressive results. - The reliable record of Aragonese social groups in this area. - The enormous possibilities offered by Expo 2008 to ensure that the Decade of Water’s objectives are properly promoted at international level

The office will be managed by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs ( ) and if I understood well has 2 main goals:
-to facilitate the coordinated implementation of UN-Water’s work on water and sanitation, especially in the areas of communication and advocacy to raise awareness of the challenges and opportunities to solve global water and sanitation issues.
-to promote greater interaction between governments, UN agencies and non-UN partners to deliver a coordinated response; mobilizing resources, partners and other stakeholders; promoting and encouraging partnerships at all levels; and ensuring coherence between the implementation of the water and sanitation agenda and other development goals.
Carlos Fernandez-Jauregui born in Bolivia (see on the above photo at beautiful Casa Solans: the interim premises of the UN office till it is moved to the Expo Zaragoza 2008 premises) will be coordinating the UN office in Zaragoza. All my best whishes to him!

Friday, September 21, 2007

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Water, $ and clothes)

Yes, this is like a Western...altough it might not be evident as first sight...Reading about washing machines new water & energy efficient models, you start thinking whether the shirts with the tomato sauce will have a second life just putting them inside your new energy efficient and cheap washing machine or that wont be enough. Basically would mean that decreasing energy and decreasing water put into the process of washing, will (at a certain point) decrease quality of the cleaning of your clothes...(got to Mr. Tabarrok blog, an economics university professor, to know more on this point). I think it is a very interesting point, cleary linked with behavioural economics, if such a thing exists...

For me, it is clear athat the (economical) gap between consuming less (electricity & water) and paying more for the best in class appliances should be strongly bridged with financial incentives to consumers and manufacturers. Let's hope the Expo Zaragoza 2008 and the activities sponsored by the Zaragoza city council linked to Water & sustainable development are able to tackle this issues of behavioural economics (for the Expo Forums) and simply economics ie. nice financial incentives for consumers (for the Zaragoza city council).

Friday, August 31, 2007

Estimation of water saving potential in Europe doubles

A report published by the Commission states that water use in the European Union could be reduced by about 40%. This figure is nearly twice as much as previously estimated

However, in a business as usual scenario it is estimated that water consumption by the public, industry and agriculture would increase by 16% by 2030.

Hopefully the Expo will help us, all of us, to achieve this water saving reduction or near.
The executive summary and the report are available for those interested.

Pd. If you want to check a place to have some bath in Zaragoza next summer during the Expo, According to the European Union, you can go (and make some tourism) to Salvatierra de Esca or Santa Eulalia de Gallego. Unfortunately the river Ebro is not yet on this database, but for sure, you will be able to swim near the Expo Zaragoza 2008 premises.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Eagles view of Expo Zaragoza city treasures

Well, 2 posts ago, i provided you with the essence of Zaragoza from an historic point of view. Now, i want to show to you...Enjoy!

Pd. in particular, the first 2 minutes of the video are great ;)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Expo Zaragoza telecabin under (melted) snow thread

Well, I think this time I have got it. The most twisted title of a blog entry ever ;)

A similar telecabin to the one above will join the new train station of “Delicias” where the high speed trains will be arriving from Madrid and Barcelona with the Expo premises.

After the Expo hopefully will be dismantled and reuse (instead of the one of the Expo in Sevilla) it in one of Aragon´s ski resorts….if there is snow by then….

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Aragon Winter Olympic Games bid under (melted) water thread

People from the region will know that in recent times we have tried many times to win the bid for winter Olympic Games. Now that infrastructures are getting better, we have a new thread to our Olympic dream…warm weather.

Some years ago, United Nations officials presented before the International Olympic Committee some findings about warming and doubt this is affecting how the IOC chooses host cities for Winter Games.

Years later, some researchers based in Geneve concluded that in around 50 years (maybe earlier), global warming will push regular snowfall altitude in Pyrenees from current 1500 metres to 1800-2000 metres….

Mr. Octavio Salanova, Director of Astun ski resort believes that more artificial snow will help to solve the problem. He explains that in the US and some countries in Europe 80% of the “paths” are equipped with equipment to produce artificial snow. Here is only 12%.

Well, I am not an expert, but I think that more artificial snow means -in addition to more Co2 emissions, unless we run the artificial snow fans with renewables, field in which Aragon is doing a lot...but this is a topic for another post...on Expo Zaragoza 2008 green credentials- more running costs for the ski resorts and thus, more expensive skiing…upps… not worries. Now the good news. First, Aragon is lucky enough to have in its territory the Central Pyrenees, which means to have the highest summits and thus, the highest ski resorts of the whole Pyrenees mountains.

Second, even more important, Aragon has the historic opportunity to use the Expo Zaragoza 2008 to have a serious debate on whether a business model based on ever increasing altitudes for reliable skiing conditions is sustainable. If the answer is NO, then, time is now to “imagine” alternative/additional business models…
Pd. Till Expo comes, if you wanna go and see with your own eyes what´s out there in terms of skiing...yes, i know we are in summer...and how to get there, just follow this link ...there are summer activities too ;)

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Iceberg in the river Ebro = Cool inauguration of Expo

An enormous Iceberg measuring 55 metres wide by 20 metres high, will be the stage for the inauguration show at Expo Zaragoza 2008.

The authors of the show explain in a video that a reduced version of the show (lasting around 20 minutes) will be performed every night between 10.30 pm and 11 pm from 14th June to 14th September 2008. In addition, it is expected that the show will be broadcasted over the Internet in real time …so no worries if you cannot be physically here.

Music will play an important role. To start with, and only in the inaugural ceremony, hundreds of drums of Calanda will be played together to join forces to fight against climate change through the beat of the drums. In addition, a “choir of adults and children’s voice will perform the song ‘Cantata for an iceberg’…

During the show natural equilibrium is broken and the iceberg opens up and splits into several blocks. The blocks then become enormous screens where both apocalyptic images and “awareness-raising” slogans will be put together. Faced with this panorama of destruction and fire, a (superhero) teenage appears from out of the flames, representing (the song of) hope.
If you are still with me, by now you will be wondering how an iceberg got lost and found its way to the Ebro? Especially Zaragoza might not be the obvious destination from an iceberg trying to escape from melting…well. Don’t ask me. But not worries, will let you know once I watch the show ;)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Snake chasing clouds at Expo Zaragoza

Everyday at Expo Zaragoza 2008, from noon -where the sun will be quite high and strongly shinning- the Circus of Sun will give a walk to its snake to help clouds to move and show the power of rain while presenting the Legend of the Rainbow.

JeanFrançois Bouchard, the project manager explained that- the 75 minutes parade will start near the statue representing “the Soul of the Ebro river” by Jaume Plensa (you can see a previous post about his work by clicking here ). Around 80 actors, acrobats, dancers will guarantee full “watered” interaction with the public (eg. there will be machines evoking the smell of mud) , all with the world class quality guaranteed by le circle du Soleil…

I am sure this will be an interesting performance, even more because of it being enrooted in real spanish life, where after long periods of droughts, entire towns go out with the local saint/virgin Mary to pray for rain. Of course, not only when it doesnt rain spain become religious...i will dedicate one blog to some religious and cultural traditions that influence the "soul" of the spaniards...

Monday, July 16, 2007

Historic Zaragoza in 1 post

With more than 20 centuries on its shoulders, Zaragoza´s history comes to meet you… you have just to walk around to discover it. I will just highlight 3 “must”:

-El Pilar y la Seo: “El Pilar” is a Fantastic basilique built where the Virgin Mary appeared in the year 40 to Apostol Saint Jacques. There inside you have “frescos” from Goya . La cathedral of “La Seo” is where previously was the mayor Mosque of the city.
-La Aljaferia: what can I say…you want to feel transported to exotic places like Marrakech. No problem. Enter this Muslim castle from XI century and start smelling the orange trees among small reservoirs of water and admiring the religious writings and symbols around the deliciously decorated ceilings. Note that the regional parliament is housed here…
Of course, many more things to visit. Many more things to live…imagine to have live music in a Roman amphitheatre…oh yes! Imagine to enter in the modern building of a regional savings bank and discover inside “El Patio de la Infanta”, a nice renacentist “courtyard” from the XVI century, ….Zaragoza will surprise you!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

“Acciona”, saulty water and Expo Zaragoza 2008

Acciona is a multinational working, among others, in the field of water
desalination. They are also official partners of Expo Zaragoza 2008 (in fact they will exhibit in a huge 1000 m2 pavilion) and they use this fact for their ads in newspapers.

Specifically Acciona will sponsor with 8 million euros (partially deductible). Acciona itself has been granted several projects within the Expo, including pavilions and other major infrastructures.

Coming back to the ads of Acciona, above you can see -next to the Expo Zaragoza logo- an example of their vision of a better tomorrow. They say: this year, we will build in California the biggest desalination plant in the USA, with a capacity of 204.000 cubic metres per day. Wouwww! This is a lot of water for thirsty people…. looking in the info of a previous post we could debate if they drink too much: Zaragoza consumes 100 litres per inhanbitant per day…Los Angeles 400 Litres…. Rwanda has an average water consumption of 10 litres per person per day...

What the advertisement doesn’t say is that to take the salt out of the water you need a lot (but a lot) of electricity, ie. a lot of potential CO2 emissions…and it could, because Acciona is also working on renewables....

In Spain a plan (called Agua) was presented to build plants to produce 600 millon of cubic metres of water per year. This is a lot of CO2 emissions if fossil energy is used to fuel them

If Spain is to comply with Kyoto targets, will need to plug all this new plants to non-fossil sources such as solar, wind, etc. We will see...probably a fantastic debate (sponsored by Acciona ;) to take place at the Expo Acciona pavilion next year.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Expo Zaragoza 2008: The biggest water show on earth

30 seconds advertisement of Expo Zaragoza 2008….in spanish but self-explanatory.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Ebro river talking, Ebro river talking....anybody listening

The talking island at Expo Zaragoza 2008 Ebro river nearby its left bank is a landscape installation created by Eva Lootz which will be an island-ear or ear-land. Well, in fact, instead of listening, as commonly ears are supposed to do, it will be spreading sounds, the voice of the river…

Eva Lootz, Austrian artist living in has been living and working in Valencia, Spain, since the Seventies Spain explains that we are living in a society that invites us to life in “adosados” (ie. construction of unifamiliar houses which is a recent urbanistic boom development in Spain) paid as gold and that builds golf courses in the middle of desserts such as in Murcia….

Herself, she is currently working on visiting the artistic side of garbage. In this context, she says "work with garbage implies to do with the left obres of today´s hyper-consumption society, the obscure side of our society". Food for though...

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Oikos outdoor pavilion at Expo Zaragoza 2008

O-ikos means “the house” in Greek. Situated in the Ebro plaza, near the river aquarium the “Oikos”: Water and Energy Plaza” will showcase different sources of energy and devices to capture it such as solar panels, windmills, etc:

-The Sun. in a 6-metre diameter room with a dome-shaped roof the Sun is presented as the cause of meteorological phenomena, the day, night and our seasons.

-The wind. The visitor learns about the origins and characteristics of this meteorological phenomenon using three great tubes which, coming from the bottom with cold air, go through a module culminating in three chimneys. Surrounding the tubes there is a spinning hoop that represents a mill in motion.

-The house and water. The installation explains the importance of hydroelectric power using a mechanism composed of wind pump that extracts water from a well. This falls like rain on a dam, whose water then goes through a turbine to generate electricity. Finally it goes into an installation like a home where there visitor can see the many applications of water in the house.

-Climate control. The public goes through two “chambers”, one cold and the other hot, to point out the importance of insulation as a fundamental aspect of good climate control. If you want to know more on how you control climate change click at LINK

Lastly, in the final module, with the title “The possible house”, the application of all the alternative techniques viewed throughout the plaza is shown to reduce consumption of fossil fuels.

The above themes are very much in line with Aragon renewables potentialities. According to a GreenPeace report Aragon's solar potential would make it possible by 2050 to meet thirty-two times the projected total energy demand for this Community in 2050 (47.2TWh/year) and its wind potential would generate 5 times demand.

The pavilion itself has an exposition surface of 845 m2 and a budget of 3,4 million euros. Authors are Domingo Guinea, from CSIC as technical adviser and the german Roland Olbeter, who is an engineer by training and an artist (see his curious fontain in a previous post) who worked, among others, in the inauguration ceremony of the Olimpic Games of Barcelona 1992.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Music water artefact at Expo Zaragoza 2008

This “yellow and black¨ecosystem-machine will bring water from the micro-lake in the basement till the 8 metres high top and back again…with the help of the public…and creating "music" in the process. I am sure kids will love it.

The author is the German Roland Olbeter who lives and works in Barcelona since 1988. He is a multidisciplinary character, mix of a trained musician (concert violinist) and naval constructor. So no doubt why he likes to create impossible artifacts. For example, he worked together with La Fura dels Baus to design the main pieces of Naumón ship which is...well i kind of theather-ship...

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Chinese water culture exhibited at the 2008 Zaragoza World Expo

According to Gong Qijun (vice-director of the exhibition department of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade) the Spanish Expo in Zaragoza will allow China to prepare to play host to the World Expo in 2010. "We attach great importance to the Zaragoza World Expo and consider it a rehearsal for the 2010 Shanghai World Expo. It's the first time a developing country will host the event," Gong said.
The winning bid has been designed by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and Beijing Zhongjian Architect Ltd.

One of the main themes of the Chinese hall will be to exhibit water control achievements including the Chinese three gorges dam. This will probably be a topic in the Extreme Water Pavilion from the point of view of the power of water.
I have to say that the term of “developing country” might be not give the whole picture of a country such as China. I leave you with the wikipedia definition of a developing country a developing country has a relatively low standard of living, an underdeveloped industrial base, and a moderate to low human development index (HDI) score.…

Pd. The photo above is the only graphic material i could find on the Chinese exhibition hall at Expo Zaragoza 2008. If you have more info & photos please let me know.

Friday, May 18, 2007

The Water Tribune: third pillar of Expo Zaragoza 2008

What is the Water Tribune? Together with the exhibitions and performances, the Water Platform is a basic pillar of the Expo Zaragoza 2008. It is a space for reflection and discussion revolving around the global debate on Water and Sustainable Development through innovation. Reflection and discussion. This is good.

The United Nations reported that two-thirds of the world's population could be threatened by water shortages by 2025. It estimated that 1.2 billion people currently live in areas with insufficient water. That’s a lot!

If you want to know more n the subject, have a look at the human development report titled : " Beyond Scarcity: power, poverty and the global water crisis".
Zaragoza consumes 100 litres per inhanbitant per day…Los Angeles 400 Litres…. Rwanda has an average water consumption of 10 litres per person per day...

Best practices and behavioural changes are needed for the developed world. For the rest, development eg. see one great initiative in a previous blog entry and behavioral changes...

World (further) thinking on Water and Sustainable Development around the Expo Zaragoza 2008 will have a new reference text with the Zaragoza charter and a new (Water and Future) Foundation with aims to become a multi-disciplinary advisory office coordinated with the Secretariat of the United Nations Decade of Water (Zaragoza 2005-2015) which no doubt will contribute to the global attention and political momentum in favour of the water and sanitation agenda.

Depending on the results, we will see whether it materialize the vision of the organizers: coordination of United Nations bodies which address water problems at various levels to take place into one organization based in Zaragoza. This is the long term goal, to establish a permanent secretariat after 2015….

Monday, May 07, 2007

La “Cesta”: Aragon’s pavilion at Expo Zaragoza 2008

Aragon is the spanish region which hosts the Expo Zaragoza 2008 exhibition.

With a surface of more than 47.500 Km2 Aragon is larger than other European countries such as Denmark, Holland or Switzerland and… of course, much less known than them.

As I believe this to be a pity, I will use another post (or a lot of them, in fact) to let you know what you might be missing....

In this blog, I will concentrate on the Aragon’s pavilion (see above). It is quite curious that in a previous post I explained to you the curious shape of the Citizen’s initiative pavilion known as “el botijo” and now I have to explain another traditional pavilion: “la cesta”.

What’s a “cesta”? A basket. An how are they made? According to wikipedia the process consists on weaving unspun vegetable fibers together. 1 image is worth 1000 words so look on your left to see a basket being woven. Seems quite relaxing...

Pd. If you cannot wait to know more about Aragon, note that at the Aichi exhibition Aragon organized (within the Spanish Pavilion) an events week, with different activities which included Calanda drums and dancing performances.

What are Calanda drums? Here you are:


Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Be frank, buy Frank (water)…possibly maybe at Expo Zaragoza 2008

The theory is very simple. Booming bottled water market in the EU means… business?

Well, that depends. Imagine that you founded a company to market water bottles and you give (so naïve :) the net profits (100%) to technology based clean water projects around the world.

Uhmmm....a non profit company…
yeahh you’ve got it!

Now for a nano-second (not point in overheating neurons here ;) calculate how many thousands of bottles of water will be consumed in summer 2008 when the expected 6 million visitors gather in (semi-desertic) Zaragoza …ufff.

Hopefully this fascinating experience (water for water) will be supported at the Expo Zaragoza 2008…maybe by the Citizens Initiatives Pavillion.

NB: Frank is an independent, not for profit company founded in Bristol in 2005 by Katie Harrison and a small, dedicated voluntary team. They are all committed to the cause and believe whole-heartedly in the product’s aims. In the UK, the experience works as follows: every one litre of FRANK spring water bought helps fund 200 litres of clean, safe drinking water for villagers at the FRANK projects in India and Africa.
You ve got more info at:

Monday, April 23, 2007

Zaragoza Expo 2008 Noria: Europe's highest Water Wheel

First, what is a noria. It is a water powered machine… the wheel is turned by the impact of water on paddles …the compartments discharge into an aqueduct….but also to produce power…

Second, this is big, really big…around 5 floors building high and will provide 45 litres a second to irrigate the Expo Zaragoza 2008 area. Estimated price is 439.000 euros.

The structure will be built by Syrian experts from Hamma, the world wide known “Water Wheels city”. Inauguration will be on the 22nd March 2008, World day for water

Pd. Another wheel, the JAMA Wonder Wheel Pavilion -sponsored by the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association- was shown at Expo 2005 pavilion_private_c.html and presented the relationship between cars and society, lifestyle and culture...

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Expo Zaragoza 2008 features extravagant "Botijo" building

...a "botijo” is the best place to keep cool water & funniest way to drink it :)
It is also the nickname of the Citizens’ Initiatives Pavilion building that NGOs such as WWF, Red Cross, Oxfam, etc are preparing for the Expo Zaragoza in 2008.
Ricardo Higueras, the architect responsible for the pavilion explains that domes are very old. In this case it is a concentric dome. The shape chosen comes from the ceramic water jug, from which it takes the temperature regulation system. Have you ever been in a building made of mud?

The building (see above) has a budget of 1.8 million euros...quite expensive for a mud designed to last for three months as it is in a floodable zone...nothing is eternal…

Pd. According to Aminata Traore co-founder of the Social Africa Forum is fake than in Africa there is no water. Water exits and if it is being said that is a scarce resource in Africa is because (they) want to sell it...

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Chinese business community interest in Expo Zaragoza 2008

As you know, the International Exhibitions Bureau (IEB) Zaragoza Expo in 2008 is part of a series that includes the World Expo 2005 in Aichi, Japan and World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, China. See to the right the impressive Shanghai TV tower seen from the Huangpu River). What you maybe dont know is the expectations created by the Expo in Aragon by the Chinese biz community.

Virginia Seoane, a Consultant based in Barcelona explains the benefits of the Expo 2008 in Zaragoza for Hong Kong suppliers of consumer electronics and parts and components for the auto industry in an article for the Hong Kong Trade Development Office the benefits of the Expo 2008 in Zaragoza for Hong Kong suppliers of consumer electronics and parts and components for the auto industry.
She sees “real opportunities for developing new business through the city, particularly if contacts become evident as the exhibition and seminar business gets a boost due the Expo”. She adds that a recent study have shown that the city has a comparable base to European cities such as Amsterdam and Munich…I am loving it!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Programmable Water for Expo Zaragoza 2008 and beyond: MIT digital mille project

Can you programe water? Yes, you can... Read this: “Two kids take a running leap at the curtain of water, but it parts before they can get wet. Landing in a puddle on the other side, the sound starts a wave down the curtain that ripples along and fades in the distance. Jump twice and you get a bigger wave; jump in synco­pation and you get the biggest waves of all”. What’s is this? Science fiction? No. This is part of the presentation made last November by Dennis Frenchman and Francisca Rojas of what you can experience at the Water Wall (see below). You can find more info on this MIT project at

Let’s joint the train of interactive gadgets (see my previous post on the Sonic Forest) that will populate Zaragoza in 2008 in an around the Expo premises in the river meander of Ranillas.
Curious gadgets where design of the software is as important as the “hardware” (ie. in this case the fountain)...

Monday, March 05, 2007

Urban musical instruments at Expo Zaragoza 2008

Performance architect Christopher Janney is what I would call a multidisciplinary guy…who studied architecture at Princeton and jazz in New York. The result: he believes is possible to create a piece of acoustic architecture…what? able to imagine trees with high tech inside…well, not yet there… so in fact the “trees” look more like giant chupa-chups sticks…each of them containing audio speakers, photo sensors and lights that intend to make music touchable & visible in addition to audible…

…making the public to play?…a recipe for disaster?. No worries. It is all under control. People will trigger sounds and melodies that evoke rain forest, classic music, etc out of a laptop hard disk which will be also in charge of keeping a minimum of harmony. Mr. Janney explains it as follows: “it can never sound like monkeys jumping on a piano — we can keep a certain mix of acoustical and environmental sounds working together”….it is called Sonic Forest, and it is currently touring around Europe…and will be at the Expo Zaragoza 2008.

Friday, February 23, 2007

African pavilion in Expo Zaragoza 2008

This 7 metres high façade will be the entrance of the Sub-Saharan Africa pavilion at night. It plans to show beautiful, evocative images of "steppes, grasslands and savannas", the theme of the pavilion.

A company called Nussli, is in charge of the pavilion and his Director Daniel Cordey, thinks that this façade will " really create the impression of being in Africa”...and once inside? Each country zone is divided into three areas: city, countryside and water. The urban area, themed around cities and culture, is always on the outside edge of the pavilion and provides an enclosed area for individual events. The countryside area focuses on the themes of agriculture, food and natural resources. And the water….

...the water falls from the sky...well not really…from the ceiling of the pavilion. Once there, look up and you will see several screens in the shape of clouds. According to Daniel, by the time the show starts, the clouds have already begun to perform and they will act as a kind of guide to help gathering people!

If you want to know more about those countries & other African countries, I recommend you to go to the previous Aichi Expo in 2005 under the them of ”Nature’s wisdom”. You just need to click on the African pavilion website and will see on the right hand side a handful of African flags. Click any of them to find the expectations of the Presidents of those countries, photos of their breathtaking landscapes and much much more….

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Outdoor contemporary museum at Expo Zaragoza 2008

Millennium Park fountain author Jaume Plensa will sign an outdoor project in the Expo Zaragoza 2008 area near river Ebro. From Plensa's numerous outdoor projects for public spaces I would to highlight the Millennium Park fountain in Chicago. Jaume´s fountain got my imagination…let's see whether I can catch yours…
…imagine a XXI century gargoyle and put it in the middle of a park where kids go to play. Contrary to the old gargoyles, this one should not be frightening, but what to do. You can put someone face….or a 1000. Impossible? Jaume took 1,000 faces from Chicago’s citizens and projected them on LED screens. Outcome: 1 fountain, 1000 faces. Of course, as the old gargoyles this one also throws water down from the mouth…but in a different way…

I will continue to post on different artistic projects in and around the Expo 2008 because, for what I have seen, this could easily become a mayor attraction of the Expo in Zaragoza and one of the main legacies after Expo closes in September 2008.

For now, I leave you with Jaume Plensa evocative ideas of what a fountain is. He says: “A fountain is the memory of nature, this marvelous sound of a little river in the mountains translated to the city. For me, a fountain doesn't mean a big jet of water. It means humidity, the origin of life.”

Friday, February 09, 2007

World Expo mascots family photo

Well, by know everyone should know Fluvi, the ET looking drop of water promoting the Zaragoza Expo in 2008 under the theme: “Water and Sustainable Development”. You might like it or not, but it is clear that you cannot miss this mascot…yes…looks a little bit drank in the video...but funny…).

In Zaragoza Fluvi was polemic from the start because of….her name. When several names were proposed and citizens made their choice through SMS the transparency of the process was questioned. During the competition, names rating best included Gotika (diminutive of “drop” in Spanish) and Chisla (“drop” in Fabla, the Aragon’s dialect). However, in the final lap of the election process, Fluvi rallied big support and got selected. Fluvi was then presented in 2006 at Fitur Expo, the tourism most important Expo of Spain. I present to you now with her friends from Sevilla (Expo 92), Lisbon (expo 98), Hannover (Expo 00), Haichi (expo 2005) and…

Yes, what about the mascot for the Shanghai Expo after Zaragoza? In China things are moving fast. The organisers of Expo 2010 Shanghai have issued a worldwide invitation to artists to submit -till May 31, 2007- their designs for the official World Expo mascot. Mascots should manifest the theme of the Expo "Better City, Better Life" and Chinese culture. $25,000 will go to the winning entry. If tempted to participate, you get all info here. Curiously enough online applications are not permitted. So start buying your stamps…

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Expo Zaragoza 2008 Bridge Pavilion and its (arguable) predecessor

Zaha Hadid is an architect who experiments with new concepts in the pursuit of something new and appealing. For Zaragoza itself, to experiment with multifunctional bridges is not totally new as seen in the left of the picture which shows Zaragoza and its peculiar -and somehow old- bridge; picture is from 1647…almost 4 centuries ago!.
Just starting the XXI century Ms. Hadid seems to have the intention to create a magnificent gladiolus shape. Clearly, this organic approach nominally fits with the Expo Zaragoza 2008 theme of "Water and Sustainable Development". Sure it does, but not only nominally….as it is expected that the ¨skin¨of this pavilion will create a natural air-conditioning .... to start with: Bravo! . I will keep an eye on to see whether i can gather more specific information on this somehow "living" building...
Inside the pavilion itself, an exposition under the topic of "water a unique resource" (see more info at the expo official website )... the contents of this pavilion promisse to be world class. For more information about the people responsible, have a look at a previous blog entry...Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

5 minutes virtual tour around Expo Zaragoza 2008

As the saying goes im sure you can talk the talk but here you have the oportunity to walk the walk...hence here you go with the Zaragoza Expo 2008 virtual walk...