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Concept: We addressed the oppositional dynamic of the World Expo’s media plans and their reality. 

We do this by dissecting the common language of World Expos, terms like: the future, growth, success and innovation. These terms support broad, superficial notions without acknowledging their imperfect grandeur. This mis-use of language creates a problematic “limbo” between a hopeful fiction and its reality. It is a semiotic limbo where we can no longer change the stagnated nature of the World Expo, due to its mis-representation.

As a reaction to this we propose a new, Propulsive Limbo that embraces a limbo’s middle zone, a dusty

reality whose strength may lie in  shifted expectations. It is from this Propulsive Limbo that we can bring about  change. For us, change starts with a new consideration of the language we use to represent and promote the World Expo. If we can shift language, we fundamentally change the nature of the World Expo campaign and in so doing re-target expectations.

The Propulsive Limbo requires a new codex that those involved in the planning of the World Expo can utilize.

Proposal: The New World Expo Codex

The Extrapolated Now:

Rather than directing abstract goals at a term like the future - we counteract this visionary impulse, a monolithic image.
We rename the future “The extrapolated now”.

Centric Aspiration:

We encourage a modest but determined ambition that doesn’t rely on valor alone.
We rename ambition “Centric Aspiration”.

The Fear of Zero and Human-Relativism:

Success and growth are mathematized terms that rely on an explicit measurement system. We believe that these units should be more generous in their explanation of numbers.
We rename growth “The Fear of Zero”. 
We rename success “Human-Relativism”.

Slow Mutation:

Fast-time or exaggerated speed go hand-in-hand with the broad notion of innovation. We question this time frame and offer an alternate pace. Innovation should not be only about replicable newness.

We rename innovation “Slow Mutation”.


Guillemette Legrand – Design Academy, Eindhoven

Eva Jäger – Design Academy, Eindhoven