July 29, 2014, 7pm

Film Screening followed by a Q&A with Jack Masey


In 1967, in an effort to attract the most talented architects and exhibition designers in the United States, the United States Information Agency’s design chief Jack Masey organized a competition to design the US Pavilion at Asia’s first Category One World’s Fair—Expo ’70 Osaka. The winning design team—which prevailed over submissions by Isamu Noguchi, George Nelson, Minoru Yamasaki, James Stewart Polshek, Paul Rudolph and others—was the New York partnership of architects Davis & Brody, and exhibition designers Chermayeff, Geismar & deHarak. Their concept, an air-inflatable pavilion, soon fell victim to serial Congressional funding cuts and was entirely redesigned twice before EXPO ’70 opened. Despite a 50% cut in its funding, the team managed to produce a US Pavilion for Expo ’70 that featured the largest, lightest clear-span air-supported roof ever built.  Even with its “extraordinarily economical $4.5 per sq. ft. cost”, the US Pavilion at EXPO ’70 became “a master work of structural elegance and…technological advances.” And, the project came in on time and under budget.

Air Up! Construction of the US Pavilion at EXPO ’70 Osaka–a Japanese-language documentary film with English sub-titles–details the construction and inflation of the radically-engineered pneumatic dome designed for the US Pavilion at EXPO ’70 Osaka.

The screening was followed by a Q&A with Jack Masey, former Director of Design for the USIA, and design chief for USIA’s major exhibitions and Expos including Expo ’70 Osaka.


This film was screened in conjunction with a day-long symposium/event hosted by OfficeUS in Venice, Italy at the Arsenale as part of the Monditalia ‘Freeport’ series of the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, la Biennale de Venezia.





Construction of the US Pavilion at EXPO ’70 Osaka –

A United States Information Agency Project


Film Sponsor:

Ohbayashi-Gumi, Ltd.


Film Production:

Nichiei Shinsha


Commissioner General of U.S. Pavilion:

Howard L. Chernoff


Deputy Commissioner General for Planning and Design:

Jack Masey


U.S. Exhibition Design Team:

Davis, Brody, Chermayeff, Geismar, deHarak Associates



Lewis Davis, Samuel M. Brody, Alan Schwartzman,

Ivan Chermayeff, Thomas H. Geismar, Rudolf deHarak


Project Architect:

Yasuo Uesaka


Senior Exhibition Curator:

Phyllis Montgomery


Senior Exhibition Designer:

David Sutton


Structural Engineers:

David Geiger—Horst Berger


Mechanical Engineers:

Cosentini Associates


Landscape Architects:

M. Paul Friedberg & Associates


Lighting Consultant:

Howard Brandston Lighting Design, Inc.


Audio-Visual Consultant:

Will Szabo Associates Ltd.


General Contractor, Co-Architect:

Ohbayashi-Gumi, Ltd.


Film Restoration:

Beverly Payeff-Masey, MetaForm Design International

Mina Chow, AIA, NCARB, U.S.C. School of Architecture, Los Angeles

Clark Muller, Colorist, , Venice, California


Translation ( 翻訳 ):

Yusuke Isotani ( 礒谷有亮 )



Joann Huang

Arianne Kouri

MetaForm Design International


Special Thanks:

Irina Chernyakova

Mina Chow

Eva Franch i Gilabert

Joann Huang

Yusuke Isotani

Arianne Kouri

Jack Masey

Ana Miljački

Clark Muller

Brendan Rooney

OfficeUS, 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale

Beverly Payeff-Masey

Ashley Schafer

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