DUBAI: The Consulate-General of Japan in Dubai hosted a webinar on Tuesday, in collaboration with the American University in Dubai and Center for Research, Innovation, and Design (CRID), inviting Japanese Architect and Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai Site Designer Sou Fujimoto as a guest speaker.
The webinar gave an overview on what is to come in three years once Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai comes to life.
Consul-General Noboru Sekiguchi started off the webinar with opening remarks, thanking Fujimoto for attending as the special speaker and the university for helping co-host the event.
“When we turn our eyes to the history of Expo, we can find fateful links between Japan and the UAE,” Sekiguchi said.
The consul told the webinar that the Emirate of Abu Dhabi participated in Osaka’s Expo in 1970, even before the founding of the UAE.
“After a half century, the UAE hosted the Expo 2020 Dubai as the first one in the MENA region and in the Islamic region,” Sekiguchi said. “The baton will soon be handed over from Dubai to Osaka.”
As of March 29, there are 1,111 days before the opening of the Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai. Sekiguchi explained that the Expo in 2025 is aiming to become a laboratory where world knowledge will be brought together to create solutions.
“Uniqueness and diversity will be the common factors between the Osaka and Dubai Expos,” Sekiguchi concluded.
Fujimoto spoke of his work for the Expo site in Osaka, giving viewers a preview of his masterplan for the upcoming event.
He said he adopted the Japanese philosophy of respecting nature and wanted to make the 2025 site more natural than artificial, ensuring to keep greenery throughout the site.
The architect explained that the ring around the Osaka expo is meant to provide protection for visitors on days where it is too sunny or raining.
“People can visit the top of the ring, on its rooftop, which is sloping and not flat land,” he explained.
The reason the ring slopes at the top, according to Fujimoto, is to create the illusion that the open sky is circular, making people feel like they are one under the earth’s sky.
“In 1970, the Osaka Expo site had a similar concept,” he said. “I wanted to bring it back on a larger scale.”
Fujimoto told Arab News Japan that his main inspiration from the Expo 2020 Dubai is the amount of seating and rest areas that were available, adding that he planned the same for Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai.
The architect added that he wanted to take inspiration from Dubai in how to activate the site and ensure that it is exciting and engaging for all visitors.
He also named Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Brazil’s pavilions as his favorites that he had the chance to visit.
Fujimoto gave attendees an overview of his previous work as well, including his works in France, Hungary and Japan.