Suspended in a spectacle: Public diplomacy at Expo 2020 Dubai

Unearthly, peaceful, and removed from reality. This captures our experience traveling as part of the United States cultural program at the Expo 2020 Dubai. We were distracted by a spectacle within the bounds of a bubble. Like bit players in The Truman Show, we were trapped on an island. Our news feed and normal time zones were suspended.

As scholars and designers who study public diplomacy, the practice by which nations foster mutual trust and productive relationships crucial to building a secure global environment, we believe architecture can be a crucial outlet for public diplomacy as well as a powerful means to connect people.

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