The 2010 World Expo: A Study in Impossibility

In exactly 2 weeks, the 2010 World Expo will commence in Shanghai, China.  What the heck is a World Expo?  In many ways, it’s the Olympics of technology, architecture, and partial insanity. 

Back in 1851, Prince Albert had this really cool idea to host an exhibition of cutting-edge manufactured products.  “The Great Exhibition” as it was called evolved into World Fairs where nations presented the very best their country had to offer in terms of science, art, and culture. The Eiffel Tower? 1889 World Fair.  IMAX Movies?  1970 World Fair.  The Space Needle?  Aliens.

The process goes like this: Countries bid on who gets to host the next Expo; the bid is announced ten years in advance; participating nations are granted football field-size plots of land; and then it begins…

A massive, bazillion dollar episode of Pimp My Pavilion.

This year’s Expo in Shanghai is no exception.  According to the Expo’s website, “The theme of the Expo 2010 is ‘Better City, Better Life,’ representing the common wish of the whole humankind for a better living in future urban environments.”  If this is the case, London will one day shape-shift, and the city of Macau will be a rabbit.  Check it out!

In all seriousness, though, the Shanghai World Expo will be a concentrated showcase of human creativity.  It’s insane how amazing some of these pavilions are going to be, and the truly great thing is the dialogue that’s about to happen.  About 100 world leaders and more than 70 million visitors will pass through Shanghai over the next six months.  Ideas will be exchanged on a truly global scale and then disseminated to almost every corner of the Earth.  Who knows what the lasting monuments of this fair will be.  Personally, I say keep the 3D TVs and bring on the hover cars!

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