Press release

Judging panel announced for designer of the UK Pavilion at Expo 2020

The 10 panel members are looking for a design concept that will create an original, inspiring and memorable visitor experience.

Computer generated aerial picture of Dubai 2020 Expo Pavilion.

(c) Dubai Expo 2020.

The organising committee for the UK’s presence at Expo 2020 Dubai today announces the panel of experts that will decide the winning design for the UK Pavilion. From architects to artists, the 10 members are looking for a design concept that will create the most original, inspiring and memorable visitor experience possible.

Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southampton Dame Wendy Hall; Founder and Principal of AL_A Amanda Levete CBE; UK Space Agency director Rebecca Evernden and artist Idris Khan OBE are among the panel members, and will challenge all entrants from a creative and technical standpoint.

The theme of the UK Pavilion will be ‘Innovating for a Shared Future’ and will be built in the Opportunity District of the Expo site in Dubai. The winning design will be announced later in 2018. Led by the Department for International Trade (DIT), the UK Pavilion will host a business and cultural programme to promote the UK as a world-class destination for business, education and tourism.

Baroness Fairhead, Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion, said:

Expo 2020 is a fantastic platform to promote Global Britain on the world stage. The UK Pavilion will demonstrate the best of British to millions of people, emphasising the high quality of the innovative goods and services produced by our world-leading businesses.

The UK has a proud history of building successful showcases at World Expos, and supported by this excellent panel, the government is confident that Expo 2020 will create even more terrific opportunities for UK companies.

Laura Faulkner, UK Commissioner and Project Director, Expo 2020 Dubai, said:

We’re delighted that such an esteemed, accomplished and varied panel are joining us to decide on the winning design of the UK Pavilion at Expo 2020.

Previous UK Pavilions at World Expos have attracted a significant number of visitors, with the Thomas Heatherwick-designed Seed Cathedral and Wolfgang Buttress’s Hive both going on to win a number of major awards.

The Pavilion will showcase the best of UK design, manufacturing, technology and much more throughout the 172 days of the Expo, and we look forward to announcing the winning design later this year.

Expo 2020 is taking place in Dubai from 20 October 2020 to 10 April 2021. With 180 nations participating and an expected 25 million visitors, it is a global platform to promote UK international agendas and showcase the best of British innovation, creativity and global leadership. The focus in Dubai will be on space, technology, entrepreneurship, global and regional development and creative industries.

The judging panel comprises:

  • Rebecca Evernden: Director of International UK Space Agency
  • Professor Dame Wendy Hall DBE FREng FRS: Professor of Computer Science and Executive Director of the Web Science Institute, University of Southampton
  • Idris Khan OBE: Artist
  • Amanda Levete CBE; Founder and Principal of AL_A
  • Sarah Mann; Head of Architecture, Design & Fashion, British Council
  • Jim MacDonald, Chief Executive, Architecture & Design Scotland
  • Stephen Metcalfe MP, Member of the Science and Technology Select Committee
  • Professor Sadie Morgan, Director, dRMM Architects
  • Dr Mike Short CBE, Chief Scientific Advisor, Department for International Trade
  • Laura Faulkner OBE: UK Commissioner and Project Director, Expo 2020 Dubai

In addition to creating a stand out pavilion, UK businesses are winning a significant amount of Expo 2020 related contracts, exceeding £1.3 billion to date, playing a major part in helping deliver Expo 2020 Dubai.

Companies interested in wider Expo supply opportunities should visit for further information.

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Published 19 July 2018
Last updated 24 July 2018 + show all updates
  1. Panel of experts became 10 members after Kathryn Parsons MBE, Founder and CEO, Decoded, UK withdrew.

  2. First published.