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Themed Design: Hettema Plans for USA Pavilion at World Expo 2012, Korea


Design plans for this year’s World Expo 2012 have been unveiled by Hettema, the organisation in charge of the creative design and production of the USA Pavilion 2012.

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The overall theme of the Expo, The Living Ocean and Coast, explores the connection between “the health and well-being of cultures and communities, ” alongside the future of the ocean. USA Pavilion have linked to this with a unifying theme, Diversity, Wonder and Solutions, highlighting both the dynamic and diverse nature of America’s ocean and coastline and life in the USA.

World Expo 2012 runs from May 12th to August 12th 2012 and is expected to attract visitors numbering around eight million to the new port area of Yeosu, South Korea.

“The USA Pavilion will use the power of storytelling to bring to life the core values of innovation, partnership and hope that define the American spirit for millions of visitors, ” said Andrew Snowhite, chief executive officer of USA Pavilion 2012.

The USA Pavilion experience is expected to span 13, 312 square feet and “will incorporate striking imagery and multi-dimensional elements to create a truly cross-cultural experience.”

Hettema design features are to include a stunning main attraction which provides an audio-visual treat on a massive 70-foot wide screen. The ‘This is my Ocean’ narrative is to include a mix of “individual voices” and tales designed to convey the intensely personal connections with the ocean which many Americans have.

Hettema are to produce this using up-to-the-minute technology and contributions from leading nature film producers, as well as motion graphics and sound design from award-winning Hollywood companies.

Upon entry, guests will be treated to the amazing sight of a huge screen which appears to be filled with water. This provides the starting point with which to take guests on a special journey from US shorelines to the mysteries of deep ocean research.

Student Ambassadors from the USA will act as guides, greeting guests in both English and Korean and reinforcing the already strong ties between the countries.

The USA Pavilion will be further enhanced by mobile and social media technologies which will offer the opportunity for guests to link to content about the USA’s coastal communities.   

Interested parties can join the Facebook page at and follow the expo event on Twitter @usapavilion2012.

Hettema present creative themed design for main theatre at USA Pavilion at World Expo 2012,  Korea

About The Hettema Group:

Hettema is based in Pasadena, California and was established in 2002 by Phil Hettema, who was previously the senior vice president of attraction development for Universal Studios Theme Parks Worldwide for over a decade. They provide design and production services to theme parks, museums, visitor centres and resorts in the USA, North America, the Middle East, Korea and Asia and their most recent projects include the award-winning ‘Beyond all Boundaries, an interactive attraction for the National World War II Museum.


1) This is the first thing visitors will see as they enter the pavilion – a stunning water wall with video and images cast upon it. The rendering of the man is Philippe Cousteau Jr.

2) This rendering is of the main show in the theater. The film theme is “This is My Ocean” and will feature America’s coasts and oceans as well as user generated videos sent from Americans around the country.

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