New Zealand’s Expo 2020 Dubai pavilion’s hosting venues – The Cooperative Room, The Courtyard and restaurant, Tiaki – are home to some of the country’s best-loved sustainable brands for lighting, soft furnishings, tableware, and furniture. Curated by pavilion architects Jasmax, each bespoke design object reflects New Zealand’s Expo theme of ‘Care for People and Place’ – the indigenous Māori environmental ethos of kaitiakitanga and the idea there is a deep, inextricable connection and responsibility between people and the environment.

Located in Expo’s Sustainability District, the design story begins at the pavilion’s kinetic façade by Kaynemaile, which moves in time with a low-frequency sound to create a rippling pulse effect. This is a reference to the mauri, or life-force within the pavilion – a Māori worldview that everything has a life principle.

The pavilion’s custom type rauponga-inspired design was developed by Jasmax in partnership with Haumi. The lines, notches, and curves of the design represent the extended fern frond and are often seen depicting the ribs of an ancestor symbolising protection, care and connection to the land. This type design features on the wayfinding throughout the pavilion and on Tiaki’s bespoke chairs by Jasmax in collaboration with Resident and Simon James. The sustainably-sourced solid oak seats are a limited-edition collection designed especially for Expo 2020 Dubai and an homage to the ‘Osaka Expo Chair’ designed by Michael Payne for New Zealand’s Pavilion at Expo 1970 Osaka. Lightweight in both form and visual imprint, the 2020 seat and backrest are defined by a gentle, welcoming curve.

David Trubridge’s ‘Navicula’ aquamarine pendant light

Upon entering Tiaki, the David Trubridge ‘Navicula’ aquamarine pendant light fittings immediately stand out as statement features in the restaurant. The designs are inspired by microscopic diatoms, or algae, which live in water and produce 50 percent of the air we breathe. David Trubridge is a recognised leader in sustainable design for his high-end lighting that is produced with minimal environmental impact.

Showcasing the country’s innovative, sustainable spirit, the pendant at the restaurant reception is a custom biopolymer made of rare pāua shells, the Māori name given to New Zealand’s unique variety of Black Foot Abalone native to its waters. The bioplastic Trubridge light was developed by Scion, a New Zealand Crown research institute that aims to promote and create a circular bioeconomy.

Città furniture

Città, the artisan design team that created Tiaki’s tableware, furniture and lighting pieces strives to create unique pieces that are made ethically, sustainably, and with respect to the provenance of the raw materials. Its comfortable Aiko Sofa and stylish Linear Tables, designed by David Moreland and Nikolai Sorensen, offer a relaxing space within the restaurant’s Courtyard area. And the striking AB Pendant Light, with its simple, organic form, is a collaboration between Città and award-winning New Zealand designer Alex Buckman.

Celebrating clean, simple and functional design are the Tim Webber Designs Nixon barstools and Duffle stools – furniture to be treasured now and forever.

Abodo eco-timber battens, fins, and panelling bring a soft, warm touch to the eatery’s interiors. Abodo timbers are sustainably harvested from rapidly renewable New Zealand plantations and thermally modified with heat and steam rather than chemical processes, meaning they’re safe for people and the environment.

“The hosting venues’ design not only showcases our ideas and culture but New Zealand’s spirit of ingenuity and creativity. As kaitiaki (guardians), New Zealanders believe we have a responsibility to leave the world in a better place for future generations – and we can see this in the shared sustainability ethos of the design companies specified by Jasmax. These companies are always innovating at every step of the design process to improve outcomes for the environment and for all of us,” said Clayton Kimpton, New Zealand’s Commissioner-General to Expo 2020 Dubai.