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“It’s all about the audience”: Pete Ford

You had your say, now the designer gets his. Pete Ford of Think!OTS voices his view on the Aussie Pavilion.

“It’s all about the audience”: Pete Ford


June 22nd, 2010

Controversy over the Ozzie Pav? Bring it on! I love that the limited exposure to the final exhibition works of the pavilion has generated any response at all. 

It is, after all, the Australian Pavilion and we all should get involved and have an opinion – constructive or otherwise.

In terms of success, regardless of what you think of the design, the pavilion is a major hit for all of our audiences, from the Joe Punter that visits for entertainment right through to Ministers and trade delegates. 

australian pavilion shanghai

As of this week we hit over 1.5milion visitors for the public space; the pavilion rates in the top 5 to see at the expo out of the 220-plus pavilions on show – it continues to generate PR to reach the rest of the Chinese and international audience that won’t be visiting so it gets Australia out to the broader audience.

It meets the brief – with gusto.  I know I’m biased, but I’ve visited a lot of pavilions at the event and it more than holds it’s own in all areas of design, from the exterior through to the interior, exhibit and multi-media.

australian pavilion shanghai

It is one of a handful of pavilions that continues to engage on the inside as well as the outside – it is a sad fact that most pavilions are not worth the 2 to 3 hour wait to get in – the best part is the view from the outside. 

The partnership with Wood Marsh for the design (and with Bovis Lend Lease for the construction and production) on this project has created a pavilion that engages the more you move through it and experience it.

australian pavilion shanghai

That is the bottom line – a pavilion is a marketing exercise as well as a communications program.

Have we created a product that the works across all media from Social through to above-the-line? Yes. Is it a must see expo experience? Yes. Does it work at a deeper level for trade and education? Yes. Does it look great?

australian pavilion shanghai

Well… you cats will judge that but whether you like it or not, approve of it or don’t, think that there is too much indigenous art or not enough (you really can’t please some people!) there is no denying that as a pavilion it is successful in meeting the brief and succeeding in getting the message out there.

Now… feel free to disagree it is, after all, our pavilion!

Australian Pavilion


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