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High tech, green tech dazzle at Yeosu

The festivities at Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea are in full swing, and the days following last weekend’s grand opening have brought a nonstop flow of curious visitors to the newly bedecked Yeosu New Port Area. In addition to the national pavilions which display the diversity of the world’s oceans as experienced by over 100 different countries, the Expo’s corporate pavilions have also emerged as some of the site’s most popular attractions.

“The individual companies are all vying to attract the most visitors and get the most enthusiastic responses to their pavilions,” said a spokesman for the Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea Organizing Committee. “With all of them boasting the latest in high-tech innovation and design, it’s really turning out to be a feast of sights for the visitors.”

Seven of Korea’s representative brand names can be found among the individual company pavilions, namely POSCO, Samsung, SK, LG, GS Caltex, Lotte, and Hyundai Motor. From the unique façades to the abundance of interactive exhibits that await inside, each of the pavilions reflects a different theme related to the intersection of technology and the natural environment.

The Samsung Pavilion spotlights the importance of the ocean in addressing present and future environmental problemsThe Samsung Pavilion spotlights the importance of the ocean in addressing present and future environmental problems (photo: Yonhap News).


The highlight of the Samsung Pavilion is a unique open multimedia performance space that features a central stage around which audience members sit at varying levels to watch a multimedia show on the latest in environmentally friendly technology and green management. With rounded edges and scale-like tiles covering the exterior, the building was designed to resemble an ark, setting sail towards the future. Upon entering, visitors will be taken via escalator through a tunnel-like space that shows continuous footage of current pressing environmental problems.

The exterior of the SK Telecom Pavilion, where visitors can test out the latest innovations in mobile technologyThe exterior of the SK Telecom Pavilion, where visitors can test out the latest innovations in mobile technology (photo courtesy of SK Telecom).


Visitors to the SK Telecom Pavilion can begin their tour with an impromptu health checkup that uses mobile technology to scan their biometric data and produce personalized results and evaluations that can be accessed on mobile devices. With a focus on technology defined by a “human touch”, the pavilion includes exhibits of new media art pieces created using mobile technology, as well as projections of films shot by individuals on their smartphones. Visitors can observe and take part in the creation of mobile time capsules that record audio messages to be played back a year later.

The giant media chandelier at the LG Pavilion is made of 54 LED television screens The giant media chandelier at the LG Pavilion is made of 54 LED television screens (photo: Yonhap News).


A 32.6-by-4.2-meter giant water screen is the defining feature of the LG Pavilion, which is also powered by solar energy. The pavilion was designed to showcase various kinds of green technology and attest to the viability and urgency of energy conservation measures. During the day, the water that runs down the front of the building helps to maintain cool indoor temperatures, and at night, the screen provides the backdrop for video displays of fish and other ocean life. Visitors can get a look at a giant media chandelier made of 54 47-inch LED television screens that rotate and change positions as part of the world’s first “kinetic media” show, and afterwards head to the rooftop park for a break.
 

The Posco Pavilion was designed to give visitors the experience of walking inside a giant shellThe Posco Pavilion was designed to give visitors the experience of walking inside a giant shell (image courtesy of the Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea Organizing Committee).


The POSCO Pavilion, which has been constructed to evoke the experience of walking through a giant nautilus shell, takes visitors through spiraling halls that flash throughout with images of the ocean. The three-story building contains five exhibition halls and a special exhibit that looks at the story and the science behind POSCO’s creation of the Triton Sea Forest, an artificial coral reef made with slag triton that was installed off Yeosu in November 2010. Vivid animations and a sweeping orchestral soundtrack also accompany visitors on their various tours.

The Lotte Pavilion offers a multimedia simulation of a hot-air balloon ride over the ocean The Lotte Pavilion offers a multimedia simulation of a hot-air balloon ride over the ocean (photo: Yonhap News).


The Lotte Pavilion, with its array of colorful attractions and multisensory exhibits, much resembles the amusement park of the same brand, Lotte World. Visitors begin their tour in a storybook forest that leads to one of the Expo’s most talked-about attractions, a 360-degree multimedia space that simulates a hot-air balloon ride over the ocean. Vibrations, smoke, and wind effects complete the one-of-a-kind experience. The outside of the building is covered with nets and shaped to look like a forest of clouds, and a rooftop area offers beautiful views of the Yeosu shorefront.

The GS Caltex Pavilion is surrounded by a field of 380 LED bladesThe GS Caltex Pavilion is surrounded by a field of 380 LED blades (photo courtesy of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism).


The design of the GS Caltex Pavilion resembles a star surrounded by swaying blades of grass. The 380 “blades” stand at 18 meters tall and contain LED technology that causes them to move and change colors at a touch. Inspired by the imagery of Korea’s rice fields, the towering structures light up at night and offer visitors a literal “walk” through the future of alternative energy sources. Various exhibits are housed in the central star-shaped building, where visitors can learn about solar energy and 3d mapping, a 3d imaging technology that doesn’t require the use of 3d glasses.

An exhibit at the Hyundai Motor Pavilion showcases models of Hyundai vehicles and vehicle parts that have been produced over the years An exhibit at the Hyundai Motor Pavilion showcases models of Hyundai vehicles and vehicle parts that have been produced over the years (photo: Yonhap News).


Visitors to the Hyundai Motor Pavilion are greeted at the entrance by robots that represent just one of the various sectors that have been developed by the company over the years. From cars and construction to shipping and steel, the pavilion showcases Hyundai’s contributions to the sustainable use of natural resources. This largest of the group pavilions includes an exhibition featuring models of all of the vehicles that have been produced by Hyundai over the years, including recent additions that use hybrid technology.

More information on Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea can be found at http://eng.expo2012.kr.

By Kwon Jungyun
Korea.net Staff Writer

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