Zaragoza Expo 2008, Program Collective

The Zaragoza Expo 2008, based on the theme Water and Sustainable Development, is taking place from June 14 until September 14 in Spain

Forming part of the Expo is the exhibition Water For Life, on show in Zaragoza’s tallest building, which stands at a formidable 73 metres.

Water For Life contains a series of site-specific installations, that are both informative and visually impressive, and is designed to be the first exhibit that visitors to the Expo will encounter. It aims to emphasise water’s essential role in our lives and encourage “contem­plation about the ecological, physical, chemical and historical significance of water to life on the planet”. A team of designers, the Program Collective, which includes Mona Kim, Todd Palmer, Olga Subirós and Simon Taylor, have worked together to create the installations, which include film, sculptural, and multi-media elements.

Amongst these is the impressive Splash sculpture, a 3d rendering of a splash of water frozen in mid-air, formed by 84 separate shapes. “With Splash, originally the idea emerged as a sketch on a piece of white paper,” says Simon Taylor, who is also co-founder and partner of Tomato. “Soon we were going from the simplest drawing to the most sophisticated cg methods of rendering a shape…. But in the end, it returned to an organic process. We ended up with a whole team of sculptors making it. So it’s essent­ially a human interpretation of water using digital tools.”

Water For Life will also contain Rain, a installation of 200 trans­parent light tubes suspended in an evocation of rainfall, and a series of video installations, with content directed by Taylor with production from hla in London. The films will explore the myriad ways that water is connected to human life. Along­side these will be a plane of water itself, which will mark visitors’ first experience in the exhibition. A lighting design will play out on the water, which at intervals will part, allowing the public to pass through.




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