UK Pavilion Expo 2020 Dubai – final shortlist

Experience Design for Visitor Participation

*Neural Nexus is an MYAA Architects led submission for a proposal: The UK Pavillion Expo 2020 Dubai.

This submission is a response to a call-out for entries by the UK Department of Industry and Trade.

The Neural nexus narrative is inspired by the flow of ideas between external stimuli, minds across academia, industry and third sectors across the UK. The premise is that this flow of ideas reflects the UK’s innovation ecosystem.

We considered how visitors might connect with UK Pavilion Expo 2020 Dubai, relative to the UK’s innovation ecosystem.

How might we consider perspectives of various visitor personas, through cultural and social pathways to British Innovation?

Responding to these challenges depend on prototype led visitor engagement as much as it does diversity inherent in Britain’s Innovation ecosystem. We investigated social and cultural pathways to ecosystems that lend themselves to open feedback loops. We prioritized the needs of export markets and capability gaps in markets that can be supported by British Innovation.

Key sectors we identified as reinforcing each other in this context include education, artificial intelligence, infrastructure, healthcare, and pharmaceuticals.

Developing and developed economies grapple with access, and how to use feedback loops from these sectors, as economic growth and quality of life catalysts. For the UK, we envisaged a strategic impact pathway to diplomatic, trade and international development.

At this point in the submission process, we built a hypothesis to validate the team’s logic framework. The design thinking behind this project is driven by a participatory effort between multiple perspectives. The multidisciplinary team includes visitor research, event communications, lighting design, architecture, engineering and project management

We ran a series of design sprints to evolve behind the scenes processes, that support a visitor experience centered around Britain’s Innovation ecosystem.

*Neural Nexus: This is a working title.

Photograph: DIT / MYAA Archives. Photographs by Ayodeji Alaka: taken at Design Showcase hosted by the Department of International Trade on 05.11.18 at the Victoria and Albert Museum London, to promote winning entry and finalists.




Project Team

MYAA Designers: Ada Yvars Bravo, Ali Mangera, Victor Aylagas, Andrea Ottaviani, WSP Engineers: Charlotte Cameron, Sam Smith, KBW Event Experience: Obebe Ojeifo, Event Communications: Mark Irving, Imperial College Innovation: Dr. Sunday Popoola, Ayodeji Alaka, Paul Nulty Lighting Designers: Emilio Hernandez, Project Management: Ian Sandland. Citations: University of Sheffield - Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge - Department of Architecture, University of Bath - Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Bartlett School of Architecture - UCL, University of Nottingham - Department of Engineering, University of Manchester - Department of Architecture, University of Lincoln - School of Architecture and The Built Environment, Strathclyde University - Architecture at the School of Engineering, Coventry University - Department of Architecture, UWE Bristol - Department of Architecture, Product, Ceramic and Industrial Design Programme @ Central Saint Martins (University of The Arts), London, Imperial College London - Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

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