Interaction design studio Troika was commissioned to create exhibitions that could contextualise Thomas Heatherwick's Seed Cathedral. The installation was created as a narrative in three parts, representing the “Nature and the City” theme of the UK Pavilion.
Located in three sheltered corridors beneath the soft pavilion landscape, the installation forms a walkway that leads to and from the Seed Cathedral.
"Green City", the first part of the installation, illustrates the fact that the UK has been a pioneer in the integration of nature within the built environment. “Green City” has maps of four UK cities on the ceiling, showing only the green parts of these cities, like parks, trees and plants. Every bit of urban greenery is depicted in a green, soft astroturf tucked into the folds of the concrete canopy that shelters the first walkway.
The second walkway boasts the "Open City" exhibition, an open and transparent city floating in the sky. “Open City” demonstrates how permeable the typical UK city is to its natural environment. Transparent models of UK building typologies were suspended upside down from the canopy with lighting used to project animated raindrops onto the walkway.
The "Living City" installation is entered as one exits the pavilion. Here a crack in the canopy has been filled with plants that could be of medicinal use in the city. It also includes imaginary plants that could be reengineered for human purposes in the future.