Tuscany Expo 2015: In the name of innovation and tradition

MILAN - The importance of the future, science, food and the development of the senses and cultural heritage is the message bring sent by the Tuscany region at Expo 2015.

 The project offers a thoughtful storytelling based on letting the visitors understand the region’s existing balance between a boost in technology and innovation coupled with the preservation of Tuscany’s history, traditions and gastronomic habits. 

 Throughout Expo, Tuscany will play a dual role. On the one hand, the main Tuscan stand for Expo is located in the Italian Pavilion where there are a wide array of programmes alongside laboratories and beautiful installations.

 However, there is also a Tuscany ‘Fuori Expo’ exhibition, which comprises 350m2 of space in the Chiostri dell’Umanitaria and is located in the heart of Milan, closed to the Duomo. The ‘Fuori Expo’ will offer six months of events, free of charge to the general public. On the programme are 27 weeks for the taste of Tuscany delicatessens, followed by 450 events, which have already been scheduled including guided tastings, workshops and seminars with the finest chefs from Tuscany as well as a wide range of cultural exhibitions.

 The creation of cultural itineraries and interactive laboratories within the Tuscan stand in the Italian Pavilion are particularly impressive. The journey is not only intended to make the visitors aware of the Tuscan region and its origins but also intended to guide them through the identity of Tuscany, through the use of sight, smell, touch and sounds.

 The ‘Five Minutes in a Day’ video installation located in the entrance room of the stand, offers a primary example. The video is made from a mix of scenes throughout Tuscany’s varied provinces filmed throughout a day, with the final intent of making the visitor part of the journey.

 One of the most interesting research projects is the vegetal installation, which forms part of a bigger installation called ‘tables of experience’ and is located in the second room. The vegetal project involves touch and sight and consists of a table of six plants, upon which have been placed (on their roots) several sensors. By touching the leaves, it activates the sensors that send signals to a main computer above the installation. Then, the computer processes the information and transforma it in representative coloured lights.  

 Alongside with the video installation ‘Five Minutes in a Day’, Tuscany Expo provides three libraries in just the first room. The main object is to expand the visitor experience, using physical elements and images that show Tuscany’s history and provinces’ heritage. In one of the libraries, there is a small area dedicated to Pinocchio, the fictional character of the children’s novel.  There are also several varieties of wood, taken from all areas of Tuscany, as a way to ensure the complete representation of the region: a symbol of unity.

 Last but not least is the implementation of an interactive wall, located in the first room, which contains a wide range of images and sounds, backed up on a cloud database. Once visitors access the contents, they can decide whether or not to download the file and subsequently send it via email.

 “Expo 2015 is a great opportunity for the entire country, for international development, for the growth of our economies,” said Leonardo Bassilichi, the President of the Chamber of Commerce of Florence. Bassilichi continued by outlining the importance of Tuscany’s slogan at Expo; “for centuries we live in the future”. In other words, the region forms a network of cultural, social environmental, technological and gastronomic development designed to balance innovation with tradition. 

      

Photos: Lorenzo Sorbini (all rights reserved)