World Expo Aichi 2005 - JAPAN


Exploring the expo theme ‘nature’s wisdom’

Foremost in my mind was to tell a story that explored expo’s theme – ’nature’s wisdom’ – and excited every visitor about modern Australia.

While allowing for the facilitation of six trade missions, consisting of over 150 targeted events, DFAT also requested an experience that catered for a minimum of three million people over the course of the world fair.

The brief was to design a pavilion that was split into two distinct areas. On the ground floor was a popular experience for mainstream visitors and on the first floor was a fully functioning space including offices, a function area and corporate kitchen, which accommodated the numerous trade missions.

In exploring the expo theme ‘nature’s wisdom’ we focused on a core thread ‘the lessons of the past applied to the present will create a sustainable future’. This was illustrated across three exhibition spaces.

1400 sqm

Exhibition & VIP area

3.6 million


$ 14.8 million

Budget AUD

12m long

Scenic platypus


+ Concept design & development
+ Research consultancy
+ Narrative design
+ Media design and production


+ Technical Media design
+ Lighting & audio design
+ Graphic and brand design
+ Programming and training
+ All project installation

Nature’s Wisdom

A ’Pepper’s Ghost’ theatre, which was an Indigenous story about the creation of our land.

The Art of Life

An immersive high-definition audio-visual experience in which a ‘data-forest’ represented modern Australia.


A tactile scenic environment where a giant platypus created constant media opportunities.

‘Natures Wisdom’ became the centrepiece of the Australian Pavilion at Expo 2005 in Nagoya, Japan. It was the first time that we conceived of a space that was all about social marketing, well before the term became commonplace, and it was also the first time that we considered creating a space that invites your audience to love you. A giant Platypus, sounds corny but the stats don’t lie – the return on investment on this exhibit alone in terms of PR and Media that it generated outstripped its cost more than ten to one.