What would you put in a pavilion to demonstrate UK creativity?

With designs shortlisted for the UK pavilion at the 2014 Milan Expo, we ask creatives how they would represent the UK.

Cathy Olmedillas

‘I would put in Grayson Perry’s Kenilworth A1, his fabulous motorbike. To me, it perfectly embodies the spirit of British creativity: its inherent sense of adventure and imagination, its wit, its confidence, its rebelliousness, its beautiful craftsmanship and endearing bonkers-ness. It reminds me of why I came over here almost 20 years ago and why I never tire of the surprises, past and present, that UK culture spoils us all with.’

Cathy Olmedillas, founding editor, Anorak Magazine

Philip Dolman

‘I would create a giant indoor market to reflect Britain’s creativity and entrepreneurial growth from small beginnings. This would be in all areas where we excel – creativity, technology, manufacturing, food etc. Markets are a vibrant focus for communities and represent the starting point for many entrepreneurs – small, affordable and scalable space where they can interact and develop. More importantly it should not just be an Expo one-off. Similar incubator environments need to be funded and nurtured in parallel through out the country to allow our start-ups to grow.’

Philip Dolman, director, Studio DB

Lizzie Mary Cullen

‘At the root of any grand building or beautiful design there’s the seed of an idea that grows and grows into something spectacular. The idea has to be nurtured and cared for, given tough love and endless hours of attention to fulfill its potential. So with that in mind, I’d fill the pavilion with a living and breathing rainforest – a network of dark avenues and soaring, lofty canopies reaching up to an endless sky. Creativity, like the forest, needs water to grow and most of all, time. The ancient trees weren’t grown overnight and the greatest gift you can bestow an idea is patience. Time to grow and develop in a safe environment before being released to the world.’

Lizzie Mary Cullen, illustrator

John Spencer

‘Encyclopaedia Britannica. Toothbrush. Sandwich. Steam engine. Tin can. Electric motor. Rugby. Cement. Passenger railway. Photography. Postcard. Rubber band. Postage stamp. Chocolate bar. Full English breakfast. On the Origin of Species. Telephone. Light bulb. Steam turbine. Bicycle. Bibendum. Meccano. Stainless steel. Bangers and mash. Electric kettle. Television. Magnetic bomb-catcher. BBC. Catseye. Jet engine. Electronic programmable computer. Goggle wipers. Hovercraft. Motorized roller skates. Hip replacement. Dr Who’s sonic screwdriver. Carbon fibre. Aston Martin DB6 (with passenger ejector seat). ATM. In vitro fertilisation. Sinclair C5. World Wide Web. Flatulence-filtering underwear. Wind-up radio. SMS. Antony Gormley’s Another Place. The Gherkin. Britain’s Got Talent.’

John Spencer, founder and creative director, Off the Top of My Head

Latest articles