Dandelion Unveiled

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  • Date August 6th, 2010 09:20
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  • Last week I was particularly excited by the news that the British Pavilion was completed when David Miliband inserted the last acrylic hair into the “Dandelion”, as it has been nicknamed by Chinese people. Officially named “Seed Cathedral” it is a fuzzy cube formed from 60,000 slender transparent rods, extending from the structure. During the day, the 7.5-meter long rods will act like fibre optic filaments, drawing in daylight to illuminate the interior. At night, light sources at the interior end of each rod will allow the whole structure to glow. The journey into the Seed Cathedral introduces the opportunity for change, growth and ideas embodied in seeds. Inside the structure is a visual representation of the Kew Millennium Seed Bank partnership which is the largest collection of wild plant seeds in the world. A seed will be encased within the end of each transparent rod, displaying examples of seeds of plant species that contribute to national and global conservation programmes. There is enormous potential for innovation and discovery held in the rich biodiversity of seeds: from new medicines and materials to construction techniques, communication systems and sustainable energy. The 60,000 seeds come from all over the world, with many varieties from China. The seeds have been sourced from the Germplasm Bank of Wild Species at the Kunming Institute of Botany. After the Expo, all of the seed-encased acrylic poles will be given to China as a symbol of continuing friendship between Britain and China. The seeds will be reused for some charity and cultural exchange programs after the Expo which are to be confirmed. The overall area of the whole pavilion is 6,000 square meters making it one of the largest pavilions at the Expo. The exhibition theme is "bringing nature back into the city." A series of walkways will take the visitor to a UK public park –there is no roof and it is designed as a landscape which provides an open space for public events which will demonstrate Arts and Culture. Much of the daily programming (to be announced) will concentrate on comedy performances, drawing on the UK's great tradition of theatre. The landscape, in which the Seed Cathedral sits, also gives the appearance of an unwrapped gift meant to represent the openness of British society. The ‘Living City’ part of the exhibition encourages visitors to imagine how things could be if we drew on the incredible resource of nature, generating new ideas to improve our cities and our lifestyles. It illustrates how science has used nature in areas as diverse as medicine and construction, and how plants of the future could offer solutions to climate change and other global concerns. Urban Best Practice Area London has completed construction of two carbon-neutral buildings as its contribution for the 2010 World Expo's Urban Best Practices Area. Games have been designed to let visitors learn about energy-saving and emission-cutting technologies and experience a healthy lifestyle via interactive means. The world's first system to calculate an individual's carbon dioxide emissions in their daily life has also been unveiled. The inspiration for London's UBPA Pavilion came from the Beddington Zero Energy Development (BedZED), an environmentally friendly housing development in London by Bill Dunster. The buildings house a lecture hall, a restaurant, an exhibition hall and six model rooms. Six designers have created six different styles for the rooms, which will have environmentally friendly furniture and decoration. The Dandelion looks great and the concept for the exhibitions is refreshingly low tech and inspiring. This will definitely be one of the first pavilions on my list to visit. And this weeks reminder is to take part in Earth Hour on 27 March at 8:30 pm. The simple act of turning off your lights during Earth Hour 2010 will show the united stand millions of people around the world are making against climate change. 116 countries and territories so far are already taking part in Earth Hour.
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