WUF 5 / Brasil

WUF 5 exhibition: World Urban Forum, Rio de Janeiro 

Client: UN-HABITAT, Kenya


During the building of UN-HABITAT’s booth in Rio. I’m always at the site, when the exhibitions are getting build. It’s fascinating to see your sketches come to live. But mostly, it’s important to be available to the questions that often occur in the last minute.

“The UN-HABITAT exhibition represents a cityscape with each ‘building’ featuring statistics from their flagship reports including the recently launched State of the World’s Cities Report. The interior of the houses shows the reality in cities – not only visually but interactively. Visitors experience the city with all their senses: in the different houses, they see, hear, touch, taste, and smell the cities we live in.  At the UN-HABITAT stand, you will also find our major publications including the recently launched State of the World’s Cities Report,”

New research and comprehensive statistic is brought together with smell, sound, taste, video in the sensing houses. The exhibition represents the theme “Bridging the Urban Divide – The right to the city” by showing many ways of living different places on the earth. And touching the core areas UN-HABITAT is dealing with e.g. Youth, Disaster management, Urban development, Slum, Health, Traffic.


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Have a closer look at the statistics covering the buildings here

An overview 3 D drawings give an overview of the 110 m2 exhibition area

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Inside Enter the building and and enter another place in the world. The buildings measures 1,5×1,5 meters, and varies in height from only 1,80 meter in this house (to get a squezed feeling) to 3,5 meters in the “earthquake” building. Be prepared to use all your senses.

Growing Population featuring a mat on the floor, similar to the mats the people of the streets of Dhaka are using during their nights sleep.

Water-sanitaion and health featuring a kitchen with real cups, plates, tea towels hanging on clothes-lines and water dispenser where people could drink water. One side of the house showed a young woman washing clothes, so in the house there was also smell of washing powder.

Youth featuring mirrors where you can have a look at your own youth? and a video with teenagers from a poor urban area in Nairobi telling about their dreams for the future.

Disaster management Stand among the the ruins of Haiti and experience a priest celebrate mass

Infrastructure. Traffic chaos. The air is filled with noises from cars, bicycles and you can even try out a ringtone on a bicycle bell yourself

Inclusiveness Feel the ambience of a market in Marroco. Lovely smell of oranges fills the nostrils and make you in a certain mood while you read about inclusiveness in different urban areas

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It was important to HABITAT that there also was a commercial area where visitors could by the newest publications and merchandise.

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Visitors  loved having their picture taken in  the different urban settings.


Facts / Institution: UN-HABITAT, Nairobi. Design and concept: graphic designer Maiken Lyster Thonke, Lysth. Manufacturer: H. Carmago, Rio. Photos: Scotti 

More? Further information about the event here