Welcome to the Expo!  This blog will trace my path through Italy as part of my Global Synergy research grant through Purdue University’s College of Liberal Arts, that enabled me to study the relationship between transnational American food and design.  To begin, I want to give you some brief details about the expo.  The Expo, or World’s Fair, has been widely attended for more than a century, with new countries each year in the spotlight as the world’s hosts.  Most expos function very similarly – with a complex of national and host pavilions, perhaps a theme, and daily attendance by local and global visitors.  You spend the day, meet new people, but leave with an eagerness to travel more abroad and in the host country as well.  This year Milan, Italy offered something entirely new – the theme “Food for Life,” which meant connecting the lifeblood of Italian culture with the world’s greatest environmental and social challenges – starvation, climate change, high population density, and mass processed foods.  Each country offered their perspective on food, blending conceptual art, technology, and design to compose a national vision of the topic at hand.  Between now and October 31 (when the Expo is completed), I will update this blog with my experiences, telling my digital story of the foods I consumed, the contacts I made, and how it shaped my research and teaching.

To begin, here is a floor shot of China’s pavilion “Land of Hope” in which LED colors change fluidly to compose an ever-changing landscape of agriculture in shape of China’s undulating architecture.

Here’s an image from above:

More to come!