BE OPEN Debates Happiness and Offers New Opportunities to Creative Youth: Three BE OPEN Award Winners Announced

Today the winners of the BE OPEN AWARDS, an international scheme for the promotion of young creative talent, were announced.

In first place was ALEXANDRA GINEVA from Russia, who received a grant of 10,000 euros for the implementation of her project, which combines a futuristic winery, vineyard and spa.

Second place went to ALBERTO VASQUEZ from Hungary, for an innovative public lighting project powered by a vertical wind turbine, to serve off-grid locations.

In third place was MICHAL WROBLEWSKI from Poland, for an ingenious graphic design scheme for Polish television giant NTL.

All receive tuition fees to attend a course at leading international institutes of design. The three were selected by a jury of design specialists from a shortlist of ten, which in turn had been whittled down from over one hundred submissions from around the world.

The awards ceremony was held in conjunction with the second day of the BE OPEN conferences at the Aula Magna of Milan University, as part of Milan Design Week. The conferences and awards are just two elements of BE OPEN, a creative think tank, founded by Elena Baturina, one of Russia’s most important entrepreneurs. BE OPEN has chosen Milan’s Salone as a launchpad and has worked in partnership with Interni and sociologist and writer Francesco Morace, of Future Concept Lab.

For day two of the conference, a group of distinguished speakers shared their thoughts about the happiness expressed in everyday life, defining the gap between cultural and psychological happiness and analysing case studies that showed happiness through consumption of design objects, brands and products.

Alberto Alessi, manging director of Alessi, talked about multi-sensory objects – like the Alessi melodic kettle – and demonstrated his point by blowing a tune on the kettle’s whistle, to the audience’s delight, proving that such things can bring happiness. Carlo Cracco, many times starred Michelin chef, talked about the individual moments of happiness that each of his restaurant dishes represents. Elio Fiorucci, entrepreneur and fashion designer, talked about the happiness that the female form can bring and how he aims to enhance it with his clothing. Edson Matsuo, creative director of Grendene, showed the universal happiness with which his products are received and said he strives for a high emotion, low tech impact. Vladimir Pirojkov, designer and president of Russian company AstraRossa, won the hearts of the audience and speakers with his ingenious inventions for personal transportation, essentially a mini flight machine powered by a lawnmower engine. Meanwhile special guest artist Julian Schnabel talked about the happiness that the creative act brings.

The final day of the conference is Thursday 19 April, in which speakers will discuss the local/global phenomenon.