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Meet Professor Dingliang Yang, PhD

Assistant Professor of Architecture and Urbanism

Exhibition Curator

Dingliang Yang is an architect, urban designer, and the founding partner of VARI Design, a pioneering design firm that was established in 2015 and has dedicated to cross-scale innovative design based on critical research as responses to different urban issues during cities’ developments and regenerations. His design and built works have received various awards and have been widely published internationally in media including Archdaily, Dezeen, Archinect, Gooood, Architect Magazine, Architectural Review and many others, as well as exhibited in Venice Biennale, Beijing International Art Biennale, Beijing Design Week, China International Architectural Decoration and Design Art Fair, Shanghai Urban Space Art Season, and Architecture and Los Angeles Design Museum. Before founding his own practice, Yang previously worked as an architect with SOM in San Francisco and at Coop Himmelb(l)au in Vienna.

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As critical mega-events of society, World’s Fairs are situated between material pragmatism and utopian ideals. This exhibition conveys the important role that World’s Fairs play as testing grounds for operations that otherwise may not have been realized, ultimately contributing to shaping the world we live in today.


Exhibition Dates: November 7, 2023 – February 24, 2024

Goldstein Gallery in McNeal Hall

This exhibition completes a multi-site presentation of World’s Fairs as a unique phenomenon in American city making. The first installation (in HGA Gallery, Rapson Hall) explored World’s Fairs as platforms for experimentation and innovation in architecture and urban planning. This installation extends that view, investigating the profound and lasting impact of these events.

Of particular focus here is the role of World’s Fairs in shaping social infrastructure – the spaces and services that support connections in communities. This is a critical and previously under-researched legacy of these expositions.

Nine cities across the United States are presented as multimedia case studies. Original models, diagrams, and video compilations illustrate the development of fairgrounds into parks, university campuses, and essential public space.

This reframing of World’s Fairs from one-off events to agents of urban experience provides important historical context as we look ahead. How might such events continue to shape our cities today and in the future? The contributions asserted here remind us to consider how the built environment impacts people as well as places.

Curator: Dingliang Yang, Assistant Professor of Architecture in the College of Design and Board Member of Minnesota USA Expo 2027 and 2031.

Curation and Production Team: Beau Gaulin, Duncan Seltzer, Sydney Kramer, Julian Whitman, Timothy Follett-Dion

Exhibition Advisors: Thomas Fisher, Jennifer Yoos

Exhibition Coordinators: Aidan O’Connor, Jean McElvain

Fabrication Supporters: Molly Sanford, Anne Henly, Justin Kindelspire, Nat Kim

Supporting Organizations: College of Design, University of Minnesota; Minnesota Design Center; University of Minnesota Imagine Fund

Exploring the Exhibition

Co-produced by Wendy Meadley and Dingliang Yang

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Behind the scenes... April + September 2023

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Design Themes Featured in the Exhibition

House as a Microcosm of the City, Spacial City, Democracity, City of Highways, Model City, City Beautiful

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U. S. Expos Featured in the Exhibition

Behind the scenes... April + September 2023

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Wendy Meadley 

World Expo Explorer and Content Creator, Wendy connects with World Expo Experts from across the Planet, learns and captures their stories, and shares them here on Expo EDU Media. 

Have a World Expo, Specialised Expo or Horticultural Expo story you would like to connect on?

You can email  Wendy at > wendy(@)

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