for Happiness

Urbanian Pavilion

World Expo, Shanghai (CN)

A theatrically designed, monumental city. Inside a vast 15,000 m2 pavilion that stands over 20 metres high, we have designed a city made of found objects which triggers your imagination. Plastic crates become a large residential area full of skyscrapers. A gigantic pile of office furniture depicts an office colossus. Cardboard moving boxes shape a skyline.

Shanghai (CN)
Bureau of World Expo Coordination
15.000 m2
Concept, Spatial design, Graphic design, Art direction
Herman Kossmann (lead), Mark de Jong, Martijn Sas
Content research and advisors
Arnold Reijndorp, Michelle Provoost, Paul Meurs
Project management
KDJ, Adelina Lee
Media content concept
Tungsten studio, De Aanpak, KDJ
Media content production
yU+co.[sh], KDJ
Light design
Tweebeeke Licht
AV technical advisor
Crowd control advisor
Incontrol Simulation Solutions
Guangdong Jimei
Design and Construction Company Lighting and audio hardware
Shanghai Yong Jia
Hardware AV and show control
Shanghai Foremost Multimedia
Technical & project consultant (Design Phase)
Hypsos Leisure Asia
In search of happiness: how do you do that?

The ‘Urbanian Pavilion’ was one of the host country’s five themed pavilions during the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, China. To immerse you in the theme ‘In search of happiness’, we developed a concept that follows six existing families in their quest. They live in six different cities on six different continents.

A whole day in less than an hour

During a 45-minute ‘city walk’ you will get new views, perspectives and insights into the lives of these six families. You can see the city they live in and how it changes throughout the day through different lighting and sound.

Highlighting themes that determine the quality of life

You see what makes the city so attractive to so many people: sufficient and satisfying work; a healthy and safe living environment; good learning opportunities; a rich social network; the diversity on offer; and the endless possibilities.

Six families, six different films

Together with a team of more than 300 construction workers, technicians, and constructors, we worked for months on the five sub-pavilions: Living, Working, Communicating, Learning and Health. Each pavilion has a different design. Under our supervision, a Chinese film crew filmed six families in their homes and in their cities.


Designpreis Deutschland 2012


IDA International Design Awards (USA) 2010

Interior Design – Gold Award

Red Dot Design Award 2011

Interior Design – Winner

Design Week Awards 2011

Exhibition Design – Shortlisted

Inside Award (WAF Barcelona) 2011

Display – Shortlisted

Exhibitor Magazine's EXPO Awards 2010

Elements & Details – Honorable Mention

China's Most Succesful Design Awards 2010

Succesful Award

IIDA Global Excellence Awards USA 2010

Cultural/Institutional/Educational – Honorable Mention