When the Shanghai Expo opened a few days ago, one of the tv news clips was shot in front of the Spanish pavilion designed by Benedetta Tagliabue of Miralles Tagliabue (EMBT). Clearly very photogenic, its skin consists of thousands of grass, raffia, wicker and reed mats laid like loose shingles on a steel frame heaped up on the site like a pile of ribbon. The mats were woven in Shandong Province; the pavilion has three exhibition rooms focussing on Spanish film makers. It all seems conceptually and materially clear.
Good series of photographs can be seen at designboom and dezeen.
Might we spare a few moments of thought for the Canadian pavilion, a big steel frame 'C' covered in Canadian Western Red Cedar, cut in our forests and shipped from BC to China. One can still see logging trucks on Vancouver Island carrying obviously old growth cedar 5 or 6' in diameter: it will be seen someday as criminal as killing elephants or whales. And to what end? To make a great big opaque wooden 'C' in a distant country. It seems conceptually trivial and materially profligate.