This three-dimensional neon infographic was the centerpiece of the US pavilion, conveying the story of energy in America, its supply and demand, in the past and in the present.
Initiated by the Carter administration in the midst of the energy crisis, and opened by Ronald Reagan, the pavilion addressed the past, present and future challenges of balancing energy supply and demand. As project designer working under the direction of Albert Woods of Ramirez and Woods in New York City, Tom Ancona designed a series of exhibits that featured large-scale sculptural energy charts, industrial artifacts, and state-of-the-art interactive computer-video systems.
Historical exhibits chronicled the development of energy technologies in American life. Artifacts on loan from major museums were featured on platforms with graphics seamlessly embedded in the horizontal plane.
The exhibit was a pioneering application of interactive media, using videodisc players, Apple II computers, and graphic touch screen interfaces. An interactive video wall invited visitors to touch the screen to hear the opinions of energy advocates including Ralph Nader and others.
The energy sculpture and symbols were used as graphical interfaces on the interactive media installations, likely one of the earliest uses of symbolic interfaces on computers. The array of computers and disc players were prominently displayed as a showcase for the innovative technology of the day.
Full size industrial artifacts were installed in the energy supply level to demonstrate the range of energy sources in use—oil drill bits, gas pipelines, wind turbines, solar panels and a geothermal wellhead.
Ramirez & Woods
Bill Bonnell Design
New England Technology Group
Neon Sculpture Fabrication
Let There Be Neon
Design & Production