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About ISIE

The ISIE is a global interdisciplinary network of researchers interested in the design, promotion, reception, and consequence of the world’s fairs and expositions held since 1851. Though rooted in the history of architecture, science, diplomacy, art, and technology, our members hail from many disciplines and we welcome the participation of all those interested in exploring the many intersecting aspects of international expositions. 

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ISIE’s Second Annual Online Symposium
‘Best Practices in International Exposition Design’
23-24 March 2023

The Institute for the Study of International Expositions (ISIE: announces its upcoming two-day online symposium of papers and panels that explore design lessons from past and present international expositions potentially relevant to today's and tomorrow's expos.

Day 1 begins at 10:30am EDT,

Day 2 begins at 10:00am EDT.


Recognizing we are a global community, recordings of presentations will be made available to registrants during the event and for the following seven days.


See below for more details.

Questions can be sent to:


  • Symposium registration deadline for paper participants: February 28. Please note that you must be registered by that date to present.

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to Register
See below for more details

Key Dates

Participant registration before 28 February 2023: US$100

Regular registration before 22 March 2023: US$100  
Student registration before 22 March 2023: US$50 

(Note that a copy of your valid student ID is required with registration to qualify. Scholarships will be made available for students and postgraduate presenters based on need. Please submit a letter expressing need according to the instructions on no later than 28 February 2023.) 

Late registration between 23 - 24 March 2023: US$150

The 2023 Symposium

Since the first World Exposition — the Great Exhibition of 1851 — these events have had one unexpected, even fatal, flaw: organizational amnesia. Once an expo turns out its lights and closes the gates to its fairgrounds for the last time, few participating countries hold onto their commissioners, designers, and staff. In short, they wipe their collective memory clean. When these countries begin planning pavilions and exhibits for the next World Expos, they often find themselves reinventing the proverbial wheel. This frequently results in designs that are ambitious in concept, sumptuous on paper — but lackluster in execution.

The 2023 ISIE symposium will bring scholars, professionals, and enthusiasts together to learn from the past and to generate new ideas and practices relating to the design of future international expositions.

Day one will be highlighted by a series of papers exploring lessons learned from past relevant for future expositions, as well as a panel of experts in design areas critical to international expositions, including wayfinding, accessibility, and digital technology.

Day two will include a panel of pavilion designers from the recent Expo 2020 in Dubai. Appearing will be the designers of the extraordinary Vision, Spanish, and Austrian pavilions, whose galvanic architecture held millions in their sensuous grip. Joining them will be representatives from candidates for upcoming World Expos including Osaka, Rome, the United States, and Ukraine, exploring their master plans’ designs that will fast-forward us into a future as sustainable as it is visionary.
ISIE’s aim is for participants to leave the symposium with new understandings and insights related to best practices in exposition design that can then be applied to future fairs. Accordingly, the symposium will include round
table events focused on the topic of exposition design and offer opportunities to informally socialize and meet others with related interests. We also invite those interested in the study of world’s fairs to become involved in the future development of ISIE and help create a seed bank of ideas related to exposition history and design.

We hope you join us!

Symposium Chairs

Guido Cimadomo, Associate Professor, Universidad de Málaga

Charles Pappas, Senior Writer, Exhibitor Magazine

Lisa Schrenk, Professor of Architectural History, CAPLA, University of Arizona




ISIE and this symposium have been made possible thanks to the generous support from the College of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape Architecture at the University of Arizona and the Centre for Transformative Media Technologies at Swinburne University of Technology, Australia. 


Symposium Schedule

Day 1 (All times listed are in US Eastern Daylight Time)

10:30am EDT

Welcome and Introduction

Dr. Lisa Schrenk, Professor of Architectural History, University of Arizona, USA

Dr. Nancy Pollock-Ellwand, Dean, CAPLA, University of Arizona, USA

10:40am EDT

Paper Session One: Transforming the City: Early Expo Development and Housing

Session Chair: Dr. Sarah Moore, University of Arizona, USA
-    Lucie Prohin, Housing the Working-Class at International Expositions During the Second Half of 19th Century
-    Miriam R. Levin, What Were World’s Fairs for? Catalysts for Modern Urban Development in the Second Industrial Revolution
-    Eduardo Jiménez-Morales & Guido Cimadomo, The 1929 Ibero-American Exposition at Seville. The Role of New Hotels in the Transformation of the City

12:10pm EDT

Paper Session Two: National and Corporate Identity and Design

Session Chair: James Fortuna, St. Andrews University, Scotland
-     Lisa D. Schrenk, Lessons Learned: Relevant Design Practices from Chicago’s 1933-34 Century of Progress International Exposition
-     Edson G. Cabalfin, Representing Postcolonial Identity in Philippine Pavilions in International Expositions, 1958-1992
-    Harry Kurniawan, The Strategy to Represent the Diversity of Indonesia in Indonesia Pavilion for International Expositions

1:40pm EDT

Paper Session Three: Innovations: Food & Design

Session Chair: Constanza A. Robles Sepúlveda, Boston University, USA & Chile
-    Zeila Tesoriere & Renzo Lecardane, Blurring the Pavilion at Expo '70 Osaka. The Festival Plaza Framed Under an Urban Performative Canopy
-    Rafael Ortiz, Vernacular Design for the Development of Sustainable Strategies on Expos Pavilions after Expo Hannover 2000
-    Van Troi Tran, Food Logistics and Mundane Governance at the Shanghai World Expo

3:10pm EDT

Paper Session Four: Recent & Future Expos: Goals, Labs, & Challenges

Session Chair: Dr. Guido Cimadomo, University of Málaga, Spain
-    Patrice Ballester, The SDGs and the World Expo – Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) Across the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Analysis: Towards a New Paradigm of Mega-Events?
-    Toby Shulruff & Levi Wyman, A Trip Through Tomorrowland: The World Expo as Futures Lab
-    Mark Ritchie, Interaction of Politics and Design - Exploring the Political Dynamics That Shaped the Minnesota 2027 Expo Bid

5:00pm EDT

Panel Session One: Doing It Right     

-   Sarah Manning co-founder and director of Spaceagency on the wayfinding and signage of Expo 2020                        

-   Kathy Johnson from St. Cloud State University’s Center for International Disability Advocacy and Diplomacy on how Expo 2020 approached disability issues

-   Victor Torregroza, brand experiences program manager, global event marketing for Intel Corp., on reducing the reliance on screens to convey information and deliver experiences

End of Day

Social Gathering

Connect with colleagues with similar Expo interests and continue the discussion

Day 2 (All times listed are in US Eastern Daylight Time)

10:00am EDT

Introductory Remarks

Charles Pappas, Senior Writer, Exhibitor Magazine

10:05am EDT

Panel Session Two: Back to the Future I

Harald Dosch, director of business development, NUSSLI Group, on the designs of the Austrian and Kazakhstan pavilions in 2020, and a sneak preview of Expo 2025    

Lara Captan, Arabic type designer and typographer, on the design of the calligraphy benches with Asif Khan at Expo 2020

- Sahera Bleibleh, associate professor, architectural engineering department, College of Engineering, United Arab Emirates University, and Exhibition Director and Operations for the UAEU Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, on how youth perceived Expo and may shape future development of UAE, and futuristic cities in general.

- Marta Sękulska-Wrońska and Michał Czerwiński, architects from WXCA Architect, discussing the Poland Pavilion at Expo 2020

- Carmen Bueno, executive curator of the Spanish Pavilion for Expo 2020

Intermission: Photo Show of Dubai Expo

~11:45am EDT [Note slight time shift!]

Panel Session Three: Back to the Future II           

Alvaro Torrellas and León Carlos Álvarez, from Icaria Atelier, designers of the Vision and Opportunity Pavilions at Expo 2020                                         

Serina Hijjas, architect, of the Malaysia Pavilion at Expo 2020                    

Oliver Poole CEO of Zebek Ltd. on the use of storytelling and design in the Gabon Pavilion

- John Boon, head of the landscape architecture and Green City Advisory Group, Arcadis, with the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH), on masterplanning guidelines for world and horticultural exhibitions                                        

1:45pm EDT [Note time shift!]

Panel Session Four: Things to Come

Javier Pérez de la Fuente, from Municipality of Malaga, Office of Urban Planning, architect of Malaga’s Expo 2027

David Loehr, principal of DLR Group, on the design of Minneapolis' Expo 2027 master plan                                                                                      

Roman Grygoryshyn, deputy head of the Odessa Regional State Administration for Odesa Expo 2030

Matteo Gatto, from Matteo Gatto & Associati, technical director for Rome’s 2030 master plan    


End of Day

Social Gathering

Connect with colleagues with similar Expo interests and continue the discussion

Keep informed about ISIE

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ISIE Committee


Professor Lisa Schrenk
Professor of Architectural History, The University of Arizona

Lisa D. Schrenk is Professor of Architectural History at the University of Arizona. She received a B.A. from Macalester College, a Master’s Degree in Architectural History from the University of Virginia, and a Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Texas at Austin. In 2006 and again in 2012 she received the Charles A. Dana I Award for excellence in teaching, research, and service


Other professional achievements include her recent book The Oak Park Studio of Frank Lloyd Wright (University of Chicago Press, 2021) receiving a coveted star review from Publishers Weekly and her book Building a Century of Progress: The Architecture of Chicago’s 1933-34 World’s Fair (University of Minnesota Press, 2007) named to Choice Review’s List of Outstanding Academic Titles. She received a Fulbright-Hays award to study sustainably development in Brazil and a We the People grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for her research on the Oak Park studio. In 2020 she was named AIA Arizona Community Educator of the Year, in part for initiating and serving as faculty advisor for the University of Arizona’s Women in Architecture Society and for her work as a UA Faculty Fellow.


Dr. Schrenk has served on numerous professional committees, including being elected to the Board of Directors for the Society of Architectural Historians and President of the Chicago Society of Architectural Historians. She is an expert member of ICOMOS's International Scientific Committee on the Interpretation and Presentation of Cultural Heritage Sites and is on the Faculty and Staff Council of Semester at Sea. She has participated in several NEH and East-West Center enrichment programs on Asian culture and has lectured on American expositions in China. Her extensive world travel has included visits to sites of architectural significance in over 85 countries, including while a faculty member on two around-the-world Semester at Sea voyages.


James Fortuna
Ph.D. Candidate, University of St Andrews

Prior to joining the University of St Andrews, James taught within the Faculty of Humanities and Foreign Languages at Santa Fe College in Florida, USA and spent the 2016 academic year as a lecturer within the Faculty of Humanities at Manchester Community College in Connecticut, USA. He received a B.A. in History and English at West Virginia University before completing master’s degrees in Classics and History at Trinity College Dublin and the University of Cambridge, respectively. 


His research interests lie in the cultural, social, and diplomatic history of twentieth-century Europe and the United States, with a particular focus on the classically inflected architectural production of the interwar period and its relationship to the construction of national identity. He is especially interested in instances of creative or ideological transfer between states and the spaces or places in which this might have occurred. He also explores the extent to which various interpretations of cultural heritage came to influence the reimagined built environments of Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany, and the New Deal USA.


Through the generous support of the St Leonard’s College International Scholarship, his PhD dissertation will further develop these interests under the supervision of the Institute for Transnational and Spatial History. In exploring the ways architectural form and urban design were deployed as tools of diplomacy at the several international exhibitions held between 1933-42, this project will recast the historical role played by the international expositions while investigating potential links between the ambassadorial, domestic, and even imperial elements of state-sponsored design throughout the interwar period.


Associate Professor Flavia Marcello
Associate Professor of Architectural History, Swinburne University of Technology

Flavia is a world expert on the architecture and cultural production of the Italian Fascist period. She is a member of the Centre for Transformative Media Technologies and came to Swinburne in 2013 after a varied teaching career at Deakin and Melbourne Universities and Temple University's Rome Campus. She has also worked as Professional Development Manager at the Australian Institute of Architects and as Curriculum Development Consultant at Box Hill Institute.


While living and working in Rome she developed her expertise on the city and its 2000 + years of history, particularly in the architecture and urban planning of the Italian Fascist period. Her long-time interest in 1930s art and architecture was explored in her PhD (University of Sydney, 2003) and has continued to evolve throughout her academic career. Her areas of research include: exhibitions, architectural ephemera, spatial practice, the political uses of the Classical tradition, manifestations of fascist and anti-fascist ideology in monuments and public space. 


Her book Giuseppe Pagano. Design for Social Change in Fascist Italy was pubished with Intellect Press in January 2020. Most recently, she has been exploring the use of virtual reality as a method for architectural history. She teaches in the areas of design, history and theory with a particular focus on the inter-relationship between art and architecture, between design and health. She also conducts action research in the role of design to improve health outcomes. Design studios are used to explore new paradigms for aged care, in particular for people with dementia. She facilitates the 'Hit Submit', 'Draft don't Drift' and 'Grant It!' writing workshops with Simone Taffe and is a leader of the Career Development team within SWAN (Swinburne Women's Academic Network).

Constanza Robles Sepúlveda
Ph.D. Candidate, Boston University

Constanza is a Ph.D. Candidate in the History of Art and Architecture at Boston University. She received a B.A in Hispanic Literature and another in Aesthetics from Universidad Católica de Chile. She obtained a certificate in Cultural Management from the same university and an M.A. in Theory and History of Art from Universidad de Chile. Before moving to Boston with a Fulbright Scholarship, she served as Adjunct Professor at Universidad Católica, where she taught the history of modern art and cultural management. 

Her research focuses on Latin American art of the first half of the twentieth century, particularly on how the notions of Pan Americanism, Hispanism, and Latin Americanism are portrayed in world fairs. She is interested in how the built environment and visual culture of American pavilions articulated regional and hemispheric political, cultural, and economic alliances. She is currently writing her dissertation titled “Visualizing Alliances Through Art and Architecture: Pan Americanism, Hispanismo, and Latin Americanism in World Fairs, 1901-1929”

Constanza has presented her work at the 109th CAA Annual Conference (2021), the Symposium on the History of Art Presented by The Frick Collection and The Institute of Fine Arts of New York University (2022), and ISIE’s Inaugural Symposium. She has been recently awarded a Terra Foundation Travel Grant to research the 1922 Rio de Janeiro Centennial of Independence Exposition and the Helen G. Allen Humanities Award by the Boston University Center for the Humanities. In the Spring of 2023, she will serve as a fellow at The Wolfsonian—Florida International University Museum.

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Support Team

Charles Pappas.jpg

Charles Pappas

Senior Writer for Exhibitor magazine

Charles Pappas has covered the exposition industry for Exhibitor magazine since 2002 and every world’s fair since 2010. His publications include Flying Cars, Zombie Dogs, and Robot Overlords, a probe of how world expos and trade fairs shaped history, and chapters in Expo 2020 Dubai: The Definitive Edition. Other books include One Giant Leap, a look at the inventions the space race brought us, and It’s a Bitter Little World, a revel in language of film noir. He was a consultant to Expo 2020 (and a regular feature of Expo 2020’s official podcast Inside Expo), speaker for the State Department in Dubai, and currently consults with the Expo 2027 effort in the US. His current research includes compiling information on buildings proposed but never constructed for world expos and examining Hollywood’s lost world’s fair of 1923.


Joseph Siml
BArch student, University of Arizona CAPLA

Joseph Siml is currently pursuing his undergraduate degree in architecture with a minor in sustainability. As a budding designer, he is interested in understanding how architecture is translated through imagery, particularly conceptual renderings. He is also a closet architectural history enthusiast who enjoys learning about past examples of exemplary design. 

Joseph helps manage the social media accounts of ISIE, which seek to connect the researchers of international expositions with each other to enrich scholarship. 


Dr Alison de Kruiff
Lecturer, Swinburne University of Technology

Alison de Kruiff is a lecturer and researcher in the School of Design and Architecture. She has a PhD in Design Research investigating the creation of Virtual Heritage, the 3D digitisation of cultural heritage sites and objects. She conducts research into user experience, information design and extended (virtual and augmented) reality, focusing on cultural and health needs of communities.

Alison de Kruiff teaches web design in the undergraduate design program and is the discipline coordinator of the UX Interaction Design major in the School of Design and Architecture at Swinburne University of Technology.

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