Voices Theme Pavilion, 2004 Universal Forum of Cultures Barcelona
Voices, the theme exhibition of the first Universal Forum of World Cultures, explored cultural diversity and the impact of living languages on an increasingly interdependent world. It also called attention to the loss of language diversity and the need to protect languages at risk.
RAA was asked to create a 30,000-square-foot participatory multimedia environment capable of serving 3,000 visitors a day that focused on the ways we collectively construct language. The pavilion’s central icon was a 40-foot-high media hemisphere of 29 individual projection screens. Viewers were surrounded by a kaleidoscope of moving images, in which gestures, expressions, sounds, and words revealed the richness of the world’s language traditions.
The pavilion’s panoramic perimeter presented a statistical portrait of the world’s spoken languages. Graphic and interactive components explored human communication (e.g. translation, learning languages, signs, technologies). Interactive experiences provoked the public’s natural curiosity and eagerness to share thoughts, triggering widespread audience participation that revealed traits we all have in common and challenging our preconceptions about other societies.
46 digital projectors using 114 localized speakers and 42 interactive computer stations presented some 6 hours of audio-visual software, making each repeat visit to Voices a fresh experience.
The theme exhibition attracted 1.5 million people in 4 months, and helped to successfully establish the event as a major global gathering hub for arts, culture, and political dialogue.
AwardsThe International Design Magazine (I.D.) Annual Design Review: Honorable Mention, EnvironmentsThe Society for Enviromental Graphic Design (SEGD) Global Design Award: Honor Award, Exhibition Design/Museum EnvironmentsApplied Arts Award: Winner, Environmental/SignageGOOD DESIGN® Award: Winner, Environments