Text by Pygmalion Karatzas
This is the 2nd part of the feature on the EXPO 2015 Milan that opened May 1st and will run till October 31st; a World Exposition regarded as the Olympics in the areas of culture, technology, and exchange between countries and institutions. With the theme ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life’ the Milan EXPO focuses on sustainable agriculture.
For six months Milan will become the platform for the exchange of ideas and shared solutions on the theme of food, stimulating each country’s creativity and promoting innovation for a sustainable future, giving everyone the opportunity to find out about and taste the world’s dishes, while discovering the best of the agri-food and gastronomy traditions of each of the exhibitor countries.
According to the Commissioner Giuseppe Sala the Expo Milano 2015 aspires to be the beginning of something different from the past Universal Exhibitions. In the Media Guide Book he explains: “In Milan the countries will not measure up to one another based on an abstract comparison of their levels of progress. This time, they will not only be comparing what has been done, instead the real focus will be on what the experience of each country can offer with a view to creating a future for our Planet, and the degree of intensity with which they can do so.”
Some of the countries have already stated they will dismantle, relocate and reuse the pavilions. It’s likely some of the exhibition structures will be incorporated into the existing Fiera trade fair grounds and used in the future, while others could be used for performances and events after the Expo is finished. What will happen next to the Expo site is too early to tell, with proposals ranging from building a new stadium, to a scientific campus for the State University of Milan, to an innovation hub for tech startups. Prof. Pantelis Skayannis, Dean of the School of Engineering at the University of Thessaly Greece, along with architecture students from the department of Planning and Regional Development visited the Expo to study and research the impact it will have on the city of Milan.
The concerns of many futurologists about the quality of food in the years to come are compounded by forecasts of increasing uncertainties regarding the quality of food that will be available globally. Those concerns expressed early on in studies by MIT for the Club of Rome (as well as numerous other ogranisations), were largely ignored at a time when it appeared that increases in resource availability would outstrip increases in consumption.
However, the rapid depletion of agricultural surplases has clearly manifested the urgency of the problem of how to Feed the Planet and prevent hunger. During these six months, representatives from the participating countries and organizations will be sharing ideas and solutions to this major issue through conferences and other events, coupled with exhibitions designed to make us contemplate on the theme from multiple perspectives.
The visit took place between the 5th and 14th of May, as the official correspondent of the Danish Architecture Centre and arcspace.com.
All images © Pygmalion Karatzas (unless otherwise stated). For additional images from the Expo, a section on my website will be regularly updated:
Official Expo 2015 Milano
Pygmalion Karatzas Photography
Cover photo credits: China by Tsinghua University + Studio Link-Arc © Pygmalion Karatzas