Guest of Honor Pavilion

Guest of Honor Pavilion, FIL


Guadalajara, Mexico | 2009

The annual Guadalajara International Book Fair (Feria Internacional del Libro de Guadalajara) is the second largest book fair in the world and one of the largest cultural events in Latin America. Los Angeles was its Guest of Honor -  and its pavilion would project the city’s identity for the nine days of the fair. The guiding theme was innovation – a theme common to L.A.’s artistic, cultural, commercial, and developmental history. Designed to embody innovation, rather than display it, the pavilion’s ephemeral, atmospheric environment communicated the spirit of this elusive, ever-changing City.

Two signature elements marked the design:

The first was a set of large, suspended, pneumatic “Idea Bubbles.” Inspired by cartoon speech bubbles, they formed the backdrop for ten short, specially commissioned films depicting L.A.’s life, art, history, icons, landscape, culture, and film.

The second iconic element was a 100-foot long interactive “Author Wall,” on which were projected the names of over 220 writers whose work has illuminated and defined Los Angeles over the years. A large touchscreen in the center of the Pavilion allowed visitors to control the moving wall text, which included biographies and quotations from each author in both English and Spanish.


Project Team

Principal-in-Charge: Alice Kimm
Project Architect: Garrett Belmont
Project Team: John Friedman, Stefan Becker, Greg Corso, Brian Kenworthy, Lauren Takeda
Project Assistants: Patrick Conner, Angel Menendez
Structural Engineer, Balloons: Buro Happold
Balloon Fabrication: Airstar
Furniture Fabrication: Cisco Brothers
Strategist: Agustin Garza
Environmental and Motion Graphics: Andy Goldman
A/V Consultant and Interactive Programming: Electroland
Literary Content: David L. Ulin
Music: Tom Schnabel
Filmmakers: E.E. Cassidy, Electroland, Christopher Ell, Lyn Goldfarb, Ann Kaneko and Peter Bill, X. Dean Lim, Maura Milan, Laura Simon
General Contractor: Grupo Omega
Photography: Marcos Garcia


National Endowment for the Arts
City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs