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Xylopolis. Exhibition by Bialystok University of Technology students at EXPO 2020 in Dubai!

10 of November '21

Xylopolis is a temporary exhibition of the Podlaskie Voivodeship, which was the first to be seen by visitors to the Polish Pavilion at the EXPO 2020 World Exhibition in Dubai. Five students of the Faculty of Architecture at the Bialystok University of Technology - Jakub Kondracki, Sara Kowalczuk-Fijałkowska, Patrycja Lipska, Agnieszka Skorulska and Karolina Sobolewska - are responsible for the architectural design of this exhibition. Their concept is a combination of nature and modern technology.

Białostocka na EXPO 2020 w Dubaju, Pawilon Polski

The Polish Pavilion was designed by the WXCA studio

photo: Pawel Jankowski

Inspired by the knowledge of experts from the Bialystok University of Technology, the Marshal's Office of the Podlaskie Voivodeship, the Unibep Unitalent Group Foundation, with the support of the Ministry of Climate and Environment and the Institute of Environmental Protection - National Research Institute, the future architects created a project about combining primordial nature with modern technology. It is a vision of a silicon forest, a clean economy, which on the principles of symbiosis with nature creates an ecosystem of two cohesive organisms mutually supporting and taking care of each other. The students based their narrative on three powerful trees that can be encountered in the Bialowieza Forest. Meanwhile, Dr. Urszula Gireń is responsible for the visual design of the Xylopolis exhibition.

Wystawa Xylopolis
w Pawilonie Polskim EXPO 2020

Authors of the Xylopolis project: Sara Kowalczuk-Fijałkowska, Patrycja Lipska and Dean of the Faculty of Architecture Dr. Aleksander Asanowicz

photo: Pawel Jankowski

nature and modern technology

Right at the entrance to the exhibition there are huge trees, and behind them a huge painting by Leon Tarasewicz was presented, acting on viewers with both scale and colors.

Entering the exhibition we created, we were accompanied by great emotions - above all pride - we wanted to convey as much information as possible about the concept we made. We created a project that the whole world is watching. For architecture students this is a great challenge and, above all, responsibility. It's a very cool feeling when we can tell stories about our region," Sara Kowalczuk-Fijałkowska reports.

Fragment ekspozycji

Xylopolis represents the Podlaskie region

Photo: Pawel Jankowski

The future architects, while watching the implementation of the architectural project, were able to get a glimpse of the reality in which they will have to function professionally - due to time pressure, subcontracting and constant changes in the pavilion, the implementation differs slightly from the conceptual design. However, the authors are satisfied with the result, which depicts the region of Podlaskie province and the inspiration drawn from nature.

Fragment wystawy

The exhibition tells the story of the symbiosis of nature with modern technology

photo: Pawel Jankowski

The effects of his students' work could also be seen by Dr. Aleksander Asanowicz, Prof. PB, Dean of the Faculty of Architecture:

Our students managed to do a really excellent project. Of course, we do not have such technologies as the pavilion of the United Arab Emirates or Saudi Arabia, but when it comes to the intellectual level, the carrying capacity of the idea, I think we are completely in the lead.

The dean also emphasized the architectural beauty of the Polish Pavilion, which was designed by the WXCA studio. Information about the project and the pavilion, as well as a video about the work on it and its implementation, can be found here.

Łazik marsjański na
EXPO 2020

Bialystok University of Technology also presented a Mars rover

photo: Pawel Jankowski

mars rover

Also, students from the Bialystok University of Technology's Faculty of Mechanical Engineering were able to present their creation - a Mars rover- during the exhibition.

The rover, named #next, aroused a lot of interest from the audience and had to test itself in the high temperature and humidity that prevails in Dubai. Together with Jakub Migon from the Argo Team section of the Robotics Scientific Circle, Robert Grabowy supervised the correctness of its operation. This is yet another EXPO where Bialystok University of Technology can promote the creativity of its students.

Łazik Marsjański

Jakub Migoń and Robert Grabowy took care of the rover in Dubai

photo: Pawel Jankowski

We hope that the EXPO will continue to give us as much as it has so far, i.e. the opportunity to get to know other cultures, the chance to talk to representatives of huge corporations, and to see how our colleagues from all over Poland promote Poland at the Expo and what is important to them," Jakub Migoń concludes.

Pawilon Polski na EXPO

The Polish Pavilion is visited by visitors from all over the world

Photo: Pawel Jankowski

international recognition

The international dimension of the EXPO exhibition gives Bialystok Technical University a chance to be recognized and strengthen its image in the world.

Architecture students have done an excellent job. I am proud that it was the students from Bialystok Technical University, who prepared the entire exhibition. You can see that in the Podlaskie province we have ambitious young people who can really do a good job. You can see how many people are watching the Polish pavilion, visiting, asking questions with interest, discussing. Presenting our province through the prism of this idea was, in my opinion, a shot in the arm [...]. Xylopolis fits perfectly with the slogan: Poland - creativity inspired by nature. We have a lot of solutions here that really fit into the slogan of sustainable development and show how to live in symbiosis with nature," said Artur Kosicki, Marshal of the Podlaskie Vo ivodeship during the Podlaskie Week in Dubai.

Wnętrze Pawilonu

Interior of the Polish Pavilion

photo: Paweł Jankowski

Rector of the Bialystok University of Technology - Dr. Marta Kosior-Kazberuk emphasized that many partners were involved in the Xylopolis exhibition, the University of Technology was one of them, with the involvement of employees and students worth noting:

Our participation in this prestigious event is first and foremost to raise the university's profile, and to show that the university operates in the region, draws from the region, but our achievements are world-class [...]. Certainly the concept of the Xylopolis exposition has been conveyed here [...]. Unfortunately, the use of plastic materials is somewhat irritating. It's a pity, because we wanted first of all to show the specificity of the Bialowieza Forest, this wood that you could actually touch.

Władze uczelni
i przedstawiciele województwa podlaskiego

university authorities and representatives of the podlaskie province

photo: Pawel Jankowski

The future of Xylopolis

Bialystok University of Technology lecturers also talk about future plans. At the university, they would see the Xylopolis International Center for Science and Art as a research and teaching unit with an exhibition function to integrate the scientific, business, artistic and local government communities. It is already known that part of the exhibition, such as the large-format painting by Leon Tarasewicz, will return to Bialystok.

The Xylopolis project will continue. We are just wondering how much of the exhibition, will be able to go back to Podlaskie province. For now, we know that those elements that we manage to dismantle and transport will be located in the Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic, and ultimately, of course, we are preparing the Xylopolis project - an educational center in our province. I hope that it will be, as we assume, at the Bialystok University of Technology," concludes the Podlasie Province Marshal.

We would like to remind you that you can meet with the authors of the Polish Pavilion - the WXCA studio - on November 15 as part of the Open Studio Festival organized by A&B.

compiled by: Dobrawa Bies

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