Mexico Pavilion. Expo 2010

EXPO 2010
Shanghai, China

Architects / em-estudio + Tónico Visual, Gala Sanchez Renero
Structure / Acero y Concreto. Ing. Domingo Uriarte Parra
Renders / Andres Ramos
Year / 2009

The building emerges as recognition that is simultaneously an exploration and a dialog.


A structure unified by the form and the material, the volcanic stone, turning it into a great stone that follows the line of the tectonic structures present along the history of Mexico. Stone that breathes, stone that cries, stone that rests, that supports and that guards. Rock, as foundation and as the shell of the building. Naturally embracing all the color and life of what is happening inside, letting light in, breathing through holes and open spaces. Volcanic stone present in the whole territory of the country.


The Mexican sky as an inspiration. The recognition of its endless skies, from Yucatan’s sky to the Sea of Cortez. The skies in the paintings of Dr. Atl, and the photography of Gabriel Figueroa. “La región más transparente” by Carlos Fuentes. The blue sky as a symbol of what we want for our cities in the future. Blue skies for everyone. The building dialogues with the sky, it frames it, it brings it in. Windows and patios that face the sky. Volcanic rock that is heated by the sun, trees moving in the wind, water that reflects the clouds.


The patio that is courtyard, square, court, market. The plaza where everything converges. The plaza which is diversity. In the pavilion, the plaza is where everything starts, the container of spectacles and shows. The place that welcomes visitors. In the building, the patio is a break, a place to rest, an open space. Both spaces are open to the sky and represent what is sought in the quality of life in cities. The plaza as a symbol of the quest for open space: a diversity and a dialogue, a public life. The patio as a symbol of respect for private life, and the personal quest of every person.


They symbolize the natural wealth of the country and the need to bring nature to urban areas. A lush forest accompanies visitors on their way to the first level and emerge as life emerging from the stone itself. Later, visitors arrive to an open space, the patio in the upper level, where nature is present as a natural array of cacti. Water is present, subtly, wetting the stone, reflecting the sky.


An exhibition full of life and color, stimulus for all the senses. An exhibition that speaks of Mexico. A journey along Mexico’s history and cultural diversity through a conductive line, the object. The city as the recipient of symbols and traditions in which Mexican identity of today is built. Studying the evolution of objects over time, helps us to understand and know more deeply, in this context, how fundamental the objects are to reconstruct the aspects of daily life in the cities.

The everyday object speaks of our reality. It is the result of creative thinking, both by meeting the needs for which they were created, but especially because of the selection of materials, colors and techniques used in its design. And this result is what makes them unique to a specific place and what we want to portray with this exhibition. Objects that are conceived as messages with symbolic, iconic and plastic meanings in a society full of traditions and cultural richness.

The object will be portrayed from a textual meaning, showing the daily life in a Mexican city through history; afterwards, a decontextualized object, will work as a creative tool of artistic expression; and finally, the object will become a container of ideas for a better future.

We appeal to the communicative and unifying quality of everyday objects by being, though different, universal. The auto recognition and identification and even nostalgia that cause these objects in visitors to whom these objects are familiar and recognizable (though in many cases, completely different) transform them into creators of meanings and codes that exalt their aesthetic qualities.


FIRST ROOM. MEXICO. PAST TO PRESENT. Objects along history. Our cities are filled with objects of different types that coexist in the same environment. On one hand, the urban inherent object of the big city, on the other hand, the craft object. On the walls of the room, a graphic display of texts and images that create a timeline in the country’s history since its inception.

SECOND ROOM. THE OBJECT AND ART. The object is, in essence, a cultural product, and therefore, the act of meaning and context of it depends on who, how and where it is used; it is this cyclical condition of the object as a consequence and cause of culture which allows art to appropriate objects in countless different shapes and meanings.

THIRD ROOM. PRESENT TO FUTURE. Moving images that show projects from the past ten years and projects that are planned for the future, projects aimed at improving the life of the cities in Mexico. At the center of the space, two light tables with a display of the collection of “Objects for a better Future”.

FOURTH ROOM. TIMELESS MEXICO. A composition of floating screens up to the ceiling combined with projections to the room walls, and projections in groups of objects floating in the middle of the room. A mosaic of images showing the richness and cultural diversity of the country. Then, this mosaic becomes a composition of images of skies. For a minute the whole room is an inner sky.