Countdown Shanghai: Italy's World Expo pavilion inspired by children's game

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The Independent Online

Italy may have produced what it's calling the "City of Man'' to fill its space at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai but the design of the pavilion comes from a game popular with Italian children.

Designer Giampaolo Imbrighi says he got the idea for the pavilion from the game sometimes called pick-up sticks in which children dump a batch of 20 to 30 sticks on a table, then try to move away one stick at a time - without disturbing the others - until the table is cleared.

Fitting, in Italy the game is known as "Shanghai'' and so the Italian pavilion ( at the May 1-October 31 event consists of 20 "modules'' representing Italy's 20 regions.

"Italy's Pavilion in Shanghai will represent our industrial advancement, our scientific progress, our creativity, but also our cultural heritage and our urban environment with a view to sharing the best experiences we have gathered in the fields of sustainable architecture and urbanization, eco-friendly know-how for infrastructures, social services, and new technologies for better living,'' Commissioner-General of the Italian Pavilion, Beniamino Quintier, said in a press release.

"Basically we'll try and showcase in this building the excellence of the Italian system in terms of industrial developments, of innovative productions, of consumer goods."

The Italian pavilion covers 7,800 square meters with a main exhibition being put together by the Trieannale di Milano Foundation. Other exhibitions during the pavilion's six-month existence will focus on Italy's cities and regions, and both its public and private institutions.

Rooms at the Italian pavilion will also focus on modern artists, Italian craftsmanship (including tailors, silversmiths and violin makers at work), the country's food and on daily life in one of the country's famous piazzas.

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