17 April 2008

Department of State Signs Letter of Intent for World Expo Shanghai 2010

The significance of this announcement is that there's now a good chance the US will have a pavilion at Shanghai Expo 2010. -JR

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE - Office of the Spokesman
For Immediate Release - April 17, 2008

Department of State Signs Letter of Intent for World Expo Shanghai 2010
The U.S. Department of State has signed a Letter of Intent to work with “Shanghai Expo 2010,” a non-profit group headed by Ellen Eliasoph, attorney with Washington law firm Covington & Burling, and Nick Winslow, leisure industry expert and theme park developer, to develop a U.S. Pavilion for the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, China.

The Letter of Intent will allow the Eliasoph and Winslow group to further develop and implement its ideas for the project, and provides documentation the group can use when approaching private sector donors. The Department of State Action Plan requires that our non-profit partner (Shanghai Expo 2010) have all required funding in hand before the Department signs a Memorandum of Agreement for the project , and, in turn, a Participation Contract with the Chinese Expo organizers. The Participation Contract commits the United States to present a U.S. National Pavilion at the Expo.

Working with a private sector partner is essential because the Department of State is prohibited by federal law from spending appropriated funds to participate in expositions such as World Expo Shanghai 2010, which are registered by the Bureau of International Expositions.

For information on the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and its programs, visit http://exchanges.state.gov/.

16 April 2008

Now Online, THE EXPO BOOK Reveals How to Plan, Organize, Promote, Host, Design and Operate a World's Fair

(IPM Magazine)
Picture: Venezuela Pavilion at Hanover Expo 2000, photographed by Gordon Linden

DUBAI, UAE, April 16, 2008 -- “There is very little published material on how expos are born, organized and operated. As a result, expo organizers often get off to a rough start,” says Gordon Linden AIA, AICP, co-author of The Expo Book, speaking from his current base of operations as Manager of Planning and Urban Design for the Dubai office of Parsons International. “But that doesn’t have to be the case,” continues Linden. “While each event is unique, there are many common factors that, if understood, would prevent or lessen many of the problems that tend to crop up again and again, consuming precious time and resources. And it’s worth it – because a world expo is a monumental, magnificent undertaking with the potential to deliver significant regional benefits and positive global impact.”

THE EXPO BOOK is being published as a series in six consecutive installments of the bi-monthly IPM Magazine, a trade publication serving the attractions industry. The first three chapters are available in print, in IPM issues Nov-Dec 2007, Feb-Mar 2008 and April-May 2008. The downloadable electronic version is likewise available online at the IPM website www.InParkMagazine.com, and at www.TheExpoBook.com.

THE EXPO BOOK brings together a uniquely qualified team, headed by co-authors Gordon Linden and Paul Creighton, a pair of seasoned international expo consultants with several decades’ experience advising world’s fairs and mega-events such as the Olympic Games. Special contributor is Bob Rogers of BRC Imagination Arts...

Fulldome Video is The Hottest Digital Technology for Immersive Education and Entertainment

Milwaukee, WI - April 13, 2008 (IPM Magazine)

Fulldome video systems are rapidly replacing traditional star projectors in planetariums around the world, and are also being adopted by science centers and other types of museums for their dome theaters, according to an article in the April-May 2008
issue of IPM Magazine.

The article, "Digital Dome-Ocracy," written by film director/producer Bayley Silleck
(Cosmic Voyage, Dinosaurs Alive 3D, Wired to Win), ventures behind the scenes in
the fascinating, specialized world of facilities that have astronomy-oriented,
educational missions....

Picture: from the fulldome production SonicVision

Griffith Observatory’s Magical Makeover

I wrote this article for Exhibit Builder, which published it in early 2008. It has now been reprinted on Blooloop.com:

On November 3, 2006, Griffith Observatory reopened after a successful redo of the entire facility, a four-year, $93 million project. First opened in 1935, it was the fulfillment of Griffith J. Griffith’s vision of a public scientific and educational institution. Griffith Observatory has stood as a national leader in public astronomy education, a beloved civic gathering place, and one of Southern California's most popular attractions. Griffith Observatory is also a well-known visual and cultural icon of Los Angeles. Its elegant triple dome, crowning Mount Hollywood, has popped up in numerous films over the decades, including Rebel Without a Cause and The Terminator. The Observatory has been called the “Hood Ornament of Los Angeles.”

But even an institution so well conceived that its exhibits capture the public interest for 70 years eventually needs an update. By the time it closed for the makeover, the many original 1930s exhibits that had been retained through the decades were very well worn - by the roughly 70 million visitors who had passed through Griffith’s doors. Griffith Observatory was in need of rejuvenation – but wisely chose a course that would preserve everything that was loved and admired about the original while at the same time bringing the institution into the present and preparing it for the future.... [click the title link to read the full article and see pictures]