Lectures 2006
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"Trade fair pavilions" Valioti Athina, Ratmahta Pezman

This study attempts to accumulate architectural issues related to trade fair pavilions. Fairs’ history and especially this of International EXPOS demonstrates an amount of projects of ephemeral architecture which are obliged to transfer various messages between national identity of a country and the most innovative technological product.

Trade fair pavilions advertise industrial products. As ephemeral constructions, they constitute a field of experimentation for architects. The last ones have to convert into shape and space a company’s profile, same as its products on a certain time.

They concentrate on them contemporary messages and meanings embodying simultaneously trends on architecture, art, technology and today’s commercial ideas. They give a performance while coexisting with antagonists and customers.

Their functional structure follows certain types, although there is much space for innovations on their design. Of course technological evolution offers many opportunities on the level of the form for experimentation. On the other hand, construction has to accord to the demand for easy and quick assemblage and dissemblage on the fair ground.

Architectural issues appear on pavilions with the same or resembling meaning. Structural geometry, the use of folding and transparency, the embodying of advertising graphics, photographs and messages, reference to art, color and light, are detected as crucial elements of their design synthesis. Trade fair pavilions, like material space, emulate the electronic dimension of retail, virtual commerce. They strive to enter and maintain to the contemporary world of consumption.