BE OPEN Invites the World to Celebrate Hands

The global philanthropic foundation announces a call to action on the subject of HANDS, our creative tools.

What can we do with our hands – fashion, craft, build, communicate? Material can be posted on BE OPEN’S Twitter, Instagram or website, with submissions being invited from 6 September 2014 through to 6February 2015.  Entries will be appraised and uploaded as they come in, to

The BE OPEN team will work with an international jury to select one winner of the HANDS project, who will then be invited on a three-day, all-expenses paid trip to Milan EXPO.

HANDS is the preamble to BE OPEN’s major project for 2015: participation in Milan’s EXPO 2015.  The foundation will create a showcase that responds to the EXPO theme “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”, revealing shared values and interests in supporting creative thinking that can power the future.

The project links to BE OPEN’s ongoing research entitled “Made in …”, an investigation into the handmade and how to ensure its survival in the future.  This is at once a local and global concept: looking at existing craft practices and then cross-pollinating it with today’s most experimental design exponents to see how traditional skills can be adapted to compete in today’s highly demanding world marketplace.

Hands are the link between our bodies and the world.  They are the primal tools:powerful, practical, sensitive, spiritual. Kant described a man’s hands as his “outer brain”, while Jung remarked: “Often the hands will solve a mystery that the intellect has struggled with in vain.”  Hands convey our moods, give emphasis to our speech; they allow us to grasp life, literally and figuratively.

BE OPEN Founder Elena Baturina says: “I am looking forward to seeing the responses to this typically open-ended BE OPEN project.  The idea is to allow entrants as much freedom as possible in the interpretation of the theme, so that we generate some profoundly unusual thoughts and responses.  This is what I enjoy about BE OPEN’s work – the fact that it celebrates the outsider and the tangential thinker because, often, that is where true creativity lies.”