Asif Khan

Milan Expo 2015 UK Pavilion

We were shortlisted to design the UK Pavilion for the Milan World Expo 2015. Our proposal is the first to visualise the entire world’s population in three dimensions. This will form a uniquely British perspective on the Expo theme.

7.2 Billion people live on this Planet. Can you imagine trying to feed them all?

When we talk about “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”, we’re talking about people. More people = More food. That’s the challenge.

From the Terracotta army to Ai Wei Wei’s Sunflower Seeds, our ability to emotionally connect with population through representation is profound.

Remarkably a person remains recognisable at one hundredth of their real size.

By scaling 7.2 Billion people by one hundredth, we have discovered that they will fit onto our Expo plot in 300 vertical layers. That’s a building measuring 80 metres long, by 15 metres wide by 12 metres high containing the entire world’s population.

At the centre of our scheme are two open-air courtyards. The first clad with carbon nanotube panels. Incorporating the darkest material in existence, "Vantablack" a nano material created by Surrey Nanosystems. This is a contemplative space to view the earth as if from outside, effectively from within the worlds largest nanostructure.

The second courtyard incorporates a revolving food offer curated by food blogger The Skinny Bib. Six chefs would each explore the expo themes through a series of special products created with innovative UK food producers.

Team: Asif Khan, iart, Ben Jensen / Surrey NanoSystems, Ralph Appelbaum Associates, AKTII, Atelier Ten, Poonperm Paitayaway / The Skinny Bib, Andy Pimbley and Rachel Armstrong.