CAMPUS GERMANY gets another lab

Music, dance, e-sports and lots more in the "Culture Lab"

“Culture Lab” is the name Frankfurt-based agency VOSS+FISCHER and culture and media manager Mike P. Heisel have given to their cultural programme for the German Pavilion at EXPO 2020 Dubai. Working as a consortium, they have developed a concept that ties in with the CAMPUS GERMANY exhibition and its three labs, the Future Energy Lab, the Future City Lab and the Biodiversity Lab. In an EU-wide tender, it was their Culture Lab, designed to inspire and move visitors, that impressed the German Pavilion team most. So much so that the consortium has now been announced as the winner of the contract to deliver 173 days of culture from Germany at the upcoming world exhibition.

The Culture Lab will feature various genres and sessions: dance, visual arts, games, science, sport and, of course, music. The centrepiece of the Culture Lab will be the stage in the atrium of the German Pavilion, where there will be something happening on every day of Expo 2020, from 20 October 2020 to 10 April 2021. At the music sessions, for instance, the performers will include both well-known musicians and bands from Germany as well as acts that are just starting out. The cultural programme for Dubai is based on collaboration with universities, academies, institutions, ensembles, organizers of masterclasses, art schools and other cultural and creative centres – all committed to nurturing young talent. As Markus Illing, a managing partner at the VOSS+FISCHER agency, puts it, “CAMPUS GERMANY will provide a platform for all of these partners.”

Beethoven goes Dubai

In 2020, during the Expo, Germany will also be celebrating the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth. The Culture Lab will bring the world-famous composer back to life in classical, rock, acoustic and electronic performances given by robots. “The Culture Lab will incorporate a wide range of elements, creating new and different perspectives”, says Claus Fischer, also a managing partner at VOSS+FISCHER, explaining the approach adopted in the concept. “The core idea that guided our development of the concept for Dubai was that new ideas, creative solutions and, above all, creative sustainability stem from tradition and cultural resources, which is precisely what the German Pavilion is all about”, adds his consortium partner, Mike P. Heisel. “After all, our aim is to connect people and create something new in a collaborative effort with the artists and visitors to the Expo – ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, just like the Expo theme says.”

Dance, games and sport sessions: a chance for visitors to take a starring role

In the “Together we move” dance sessions, for instance, dance students will encourage visitors to get moving by teaching them some simple steps. Words, after all, are superfluous in dance and movement – a concept that worked exceptionally well back in Milan in 2015 too. Germany is the country of games – both virtual and traditional. At the games sessions there will be interactive games and competitions for everyone, with sports, quizzes, board games and games of skill. There will also be a weekly “eSports Day”, in which contestants will participate using game consoles.

The sport sessions will really involve physical action, with a chance to shoot a few goals in the entrance queue, take part in the basketball challenge or try out some street sports such as parkour, skating or bike stunts.

Anyone who’s ever studied at university will be familiar with the concept of “freshers’ week”, where new students get to know their new surroundings during the week before term starts. The welcome session in the entrance queue borrows from this idea, with performers from the worlds of music, acrobatics, sport, dance, mime and entertainment.

Cultural highlights on Germany’s National Day

The tender specifications also included the cultural programme for Germany’s National Day on 23 February 2021. The official opening ceremony will begin with a performance of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”. The highlight of the day will be a show by an internationally famous star from Germany, whose roots, ethnicity and work embody the diversity of Germany’s cultural scene. Thanks to a joint project with a German journalism school, young reporters will take on the role of “cultural ambassadors”, filming short features on culture in Germany, which will then be shown in the German Pavilion during the 173 days of the Expo. And, on Germany’s National Day, they’ll have a special message for visitors in Dubai: “We’re delighted to be celebrating with you today. Thank you, Dubai! With love from Germany!”

Background Information: 
Expo 2020 Dubai and the German Pavilion

The next World Expo will take place from 20 October 2020 to 10 April 2021 in Dubai, where the theme will be “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”. 190 countries will be participating in what will be the first expo to be held in the Arabic-speaking region. The organizers are expecting over 70% of the visitors to come from overseas.

Koelnmesse GmbH will be organizing and running the German Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. The “German Pavilion Expo 2020 Dubai Consortium”, comprising facts and fiction GmbH (Cologne) and NUSSLI Adunic AG (Hüttwilen, Switzerland), is in charge of concept design, planning and realization. facts and fiction will be responsible for content, exhibition and media design, and the pavilion will be built by NUSSLI Adunic. The architecture and spatial design will be created by LAVA – Laboratory for Visionary Architecture (Berlin).

CAMPUS GERMANY gets another lab