BE OPEN launch new design iniatives at Sounding Space Symposium, London

Mark Sheerin | 05 June 2013

Looking for all the world like an alien craft, the BE OPEN Sound Portal, last seen in Trafalgar Square, is open for business at Chelsea College of Art and Design.

Colour photo of a sculptural walk-in installation in a college courtyard
The BE OPEN Sound Portal on location at Chelsea© http://www.dezeen.com
It has spent some nine months here, fostering out-of-this-world sound pieces by the capital's art and design students.

A two-day symposium, Sounding Space, now allows visitors to review the work done by the Chelsea school, plus Central Saint Martin’s College of Arts and Design and London College of Communication. The three institutions have been working to different themes.

These have included, speaking respectively, Sound as Measure (dealing with spatial design), Nomad Lab (looking at sound from a transdisciplinary perspective) and Sound, Place, Memory, (taking a more social and geographical approach).

BE OPEN founder Elena Baturina has said she hopes the students’ findings will become a “catalyst for further thinking...so that we can be more conscious of sound in our lives and cities and find more peaceful and harmonious ways of living.”

Colour photo of a design professional looking thoughtful at a kitchen table
Rpberto Zancan, who leads BE OPEN Inside the Academy© Roberto Zancan
Her global philanthropic institution is fast becoming synonymous with idealistic design projects such as the one in London. It is no surprise that further initiatives are to be launched at the Symposium, and these are rolled into one self-explanatory title: BE OPEN Inside the Academy.

New projects include a Design Institute Ranking System, a trans-disciplinary Master’s Program for elite colleges and a Young Talent Award to foster emerging creatives. The programme is led by a curator rather than a director, Roberto Zancan (Domus and Professor of History and Theory of Environmental Design at UQAM University of Montreal).

Baturina admits the BE OPEN strategy is unconventional: “We want to promote growth and progress not through engineering or science, but through creativity - and design in particular - which could become a key component to social development and is integral to so many industries.”

On June 6 and 7 Londoners will get the chance to see, or rather hear, for themselves some of the results of that refreshing philosophy.

Visit Mark Sheerin's contemporary art blog and follow him on Twitter.
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