For the Belgian Pavilion's exhibition space, we worked together with creative agencies facts and fiction and Envie. Facts and fiction started off the whole process by designing a scenography to perfectly match the idea's, vision, and philosophy we wanted to portray in our exhibition. Eventually, Envie joined the team to further execute, produce, and perfect the whole idea. The result will be amazing, we can promise you that.
This month facts and fiction will start by lifting a tip of the veil on our exhibition and the work they do. Next month it will be Envie's turn to do the same.
Who is krafthaus (facts and fiction) and what does your work entail?
Krafthaus is a brand of the agency facts and fiction that works for museums and other cultural institutions by conceiving and designing exhibitions. As such, krafthaus fits seamlessly into facts and fiction's projects. The agency has been successfully developing exhibitions for years, such as most recently the Berlin Global exhibition at the Humboldt Forum, the reconstructed Berlin Palace. Moreover, in addition to exhibition projects, facts and fiction has been creating pavilions at world exhibitions for various countries and institutions for 20 years now. We are particularly proud that, next to Belgium, three other countries have entrusted us with the honourable task of designing and realizing their pavilions and exhibitions: those are Germany, Monaco and Jordan.
Our work is not only shaped by the content we work with, but also significantly by the diversity of our people. In our team, humanities scholars, architects, scenographers, designers and project managers work on projects that often have a cultural, social or societal focus. We work deeply into the themes, develop approaches to tell, explain or enlighten these themes in the narrative of an exhibition. Based on this, we create the design in which these themes take place and develop the entire exhibition in interdisciplinary teams – from the exhibition graphics to the media content to individual interactive exhibits. This results in innovative, experiential, participatory and visually-dynamic ways to engage audiences, convey knowledge and make creative statements.
those who do
not dream of
flying will never
(facts and fiction’s motto)
What is the role of krafthaus concerning the Belgian pavilion?
Krafhaus/facts and fiction has been honored to develop the concept and narratives of the visitor experience at the Belgian pavilion. We have been entrusted with the challenging task to conceive a meaningful visit of the pavilion on the theme of mobility and sketch a related storyline that would unveil the pioneering side of Belgium and its region while representing the worldwide famous aspects of Belgium.
We worked hand in hand with architects and Besix in order to create a coherent outcome.
The production side of the scenography is supervised by Besix, which we continue to assist as creative lead in order to ensure that the result reflects the initial concept design.
What is the process you went through when designing the scenography of the Belgian pavilion?
We have dissected the notion of mobility and explored all its subtopics as mobility is not limited to the way goods and people are transported but extends to the notions of smart city, city of things, virtual connectivity and labs, smart biologistics – those are dedicated to be the sub-topics of the mobility theme. This initial step was followed by an exhaustive search for projects developed or under development in the different regions of Belgium, projects that related to any of the sub-topics of mobility in order to reveal the best that Belgium has to offer.
The overall idea was to portray the well-known specificities of Belgium but also to reveal the country’s pioneer vision and the on-going initiatives that would drive the future mobility of Belgium. In close cooperation with BelExpo, the regions of Belgiums and the various experts, we created narratives that translate the complex content into an appealing experience. .
Without giving away too many details, what is the essence/story behind the scenography?
At the Belgium pavilion, Belgian thinkers and entrepreneurs are coming together to sketch their vision of the year 2050. With regard to the overarching theme of "Mobility", the innovations and vision brought with them will form the basis for smart, safe and clean mobility of the future. Only by working together will we bring this vision to life.
The guests of the Belgian Pavilion will experience those innovations by going on an immersive journey into the future – in the scenographic design of a comic strip world. Visitors will meet interesting Belgian personalities, discover numerous smart mobility innovations and experience an impressive manifestation of Belgium’s vision for the future of mobility. As the highlight, they will immerse themselves completely into a comic style vision of Belgium 2050.
How have you experienced working on this project?
This is a very exciting project that allowed us to deepen our knowledge of Belgium. We have been very impressed by the amounts of innovative initiatives that are emerging from the various regions. Indeed, it has been very difficult to select only few of them, but we tried to showcase a combination of various innovations, that, taken together, can open up a very interesting perspective on the future Belgium 2050.
In addition, we had great fun integrating the Belgian comic creativity in the storyline. It was really great how much interest the various Belgian comic publishing houses showed – in a great collaboration we have woven their characters into our scenography. That being said, it will be the first time ever that all Belgian comic heroes will be gathered within one unique project!
Also, we have especially liked working with the team of Architects that came up with the very strong identity of the green arch. The design of Vincent Callebaut inspired us and allowed us to integrate the shapes and lines of the pavilion within the scenography and especially the main show experience, which will leave a lasting impression on the visitors.