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Claims of Plagiarism at Milan Expo Site

Tuesday 09 Dec 2014

The sincerest form of flattery?

Claims of Plagiarism at Milan Expo Site by Wilkinson Eyre Architects
Tree of Life / Super Trees at Gardens by the Bay 
Claims of Plagiarism at Milan Expo Site by Wilkinson Eyre Architects Claims of Plagiarism at Milan Expo Site by Wilkinson Eyre Architects
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16/12/14 MOXM, Toronto
Who cares? Both are ridiculous and a waste of time, energy and money.
16/12/14 James VanderMolen, Grand Rapids
Rubbish. I'm with Balich. Any suggestion of plagiarism is nonsense. The same similarity can be found in the trellis-trees in the garden of the Getty Center and in numerous other examples.

Claims of plagiarism at 2015 Milan Expo site 

Reports of plagiarism have arisen in UK paper The Daily Telegraph following the release of renderings for The Tree of Life - a central feature of the 2015 Milan Expo. The structure in question is a 100ft-high steel and wood element which bears a striking resemblance to the Super Trees at the Gardens by the Bay in Singapore.

The Tree of Life is due to be sited in a lake next to the Italian Pavilion, surrounded by 3,000 seats and 100 trees, as the location for water games, fire shows, and artistic performances during the Expo. There are also plans for a light show to illuminate the structure in alternating colours throughout the day.

Marco Balich, Artistic Director of the Italian Pavilion (and Executive Producer of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games) has been quoted as saying: “A tree is a tree, just like a skyscraper is a skyscraper - they are often similar, whether they are in New York or Shanghai. You can’t have copyright over the shape of a tree.”

Chris Wilkinson of Wilkinson Eyre, who worked on the Super Trees in Singapore with Grant Associates and Atelier 1, told The Daily Telegraph: “I think it’s definitely derivative of the Gardens by the Bay concept. You’d have expected them to have come up with something a bit more original.”

The inspiration for the Tree of Life was allegedly found in contemporary film imagery and the flooring of Michelangelo’s Piazza del Campidoglio in Rome. 

Wilkinson Eyre Architects

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