U.S.A. Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai

  • Client: U.S. Department of State
  • Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates


  • Concept Development + Refinement
  • Media Production
  • Technical Development
  • In-Field Art Direction
  • Project + Production Management
  • Graphic Design + Wayfinding
  • Design + Development
  • Show Production
  • Interior Design
  • Technical, Lighting + Audio Design

For Expo 2020 Dubai, Thinkwell was honored to be selected by the U.S. Department of State to turnkey design and produce the U.S.A. pavilion. The 43,000 square feet (4,000 square meters) pavilion takes visitors on a 20-minute journey through seven exhibits showcasing the past, present, and future of American innovation.

The exhibits include a massive seamless projected cyclorama with a half-scale recreation of the Statue of Liberty’s hand and torch “painted” in projected media, illuminating the idea that freedom has formed the basis for opportunity and innovation in the United States. Authentic artifacts on display include Thomas Jefferson’s personal copy of the Qu’ran, an early telephone made by Alexander Graham Bell, and footage of Steve Jobs revealing the first iPhone—from the actual screen on that first iPhone.

The culmination of the exhibit is an eight-minute show that quite literally compels audiences to look to the sky with a proscenium suspended 39 feet (12 meters) overhead. The production is the first of its kind to use Black 3.0, forming an intensely dark contrast to giant LED screens and projectors that “paint” several large dimensional objects that silently glide into the room, including astronauts, spacecraft, and a 16-foot (5 meters) sphere that becomes the moon, Mars, and more. Stepping outside, visitors find a full-scale replica of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, which at 137 feet (42 meters) stands as the second-largest object on the Expo site. Each night, the rocket dramatically “blasts off” as part of its own mapped projection spectacular.

Even the journey itself is quite literally part of that story of innovation—the first four exhibits are experienced via a newly designed moving walkway system that weaves through the pavilion exhibits, providing a transformative experience that is inclusive for all ages and abilities, while delivering the high capacity required for an Expo expected to attract some 25 million visitors over its six-month run.

Thinkwell was responsible for the turnkey delivery of the U.S.A. pavilion, including Concept Design, Interior Design, the pavilion’s Website Design, Office and Public Diplomacy Spaces, Creative Direction & Programming, Media Production, Technical Supervision, Art Direction, Project Management, and In-Field Production, and served as producers of all Pavilion media, including custom music and media.