Alison Brooks Architects were shortlisted for the international design competition for the UK Pavilion for the Expo 2020 Dubai. Responding to the theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, our pavilion’s concept was based on a celebration of human and artificial intelligence collaborating creatively to bring the voices of the world’s peoples together in a real-time, user-generated audio-visual symphony: a World Chorus.
The scheme’s form is a distinctive, luminescent twin-dome, inspired by both the geometry of hydrogen atom wave functions in quantum mechanics and electromagnetic waves that enable radio and digital communication. Integrating dynamic architectural form, the latest lightweight demountable structural and material engineering, and a generative audio-visual experience, the World Chorus Pavilion’s design signals Britain’s commitment to a shared future where Artificial Intelligence is developed to inspire creativity and improve quality of life for all.
At the centre of the World Chorus Pavilion is the Soundspace. Sheltered within the largest of the two domes, the Soundspace is a spectacular 12m high torus made of translucent ETFE. In this sublime central space each visitor directly engages with an AI Composer on their mobile phones to create audio-visual contributions. These are transmitted into the space by speakers and projected onto the surface of the torus. Harnessing Britain’s cutting-edge AI technology, they coalesce into a visually and acoustically astonishing symphony.
The mysterious sounds of the collective Chorus are revealed at the centre of the Torus in a great circular dish of shallow water. Soundwaves from the chorus cause the surface of the water to ripple: physical waves that reflect light. Moving around the vessel visitors will be immersed in a future music made of their own and the world’s voices, co-creating an unfamiliar beauty.