BE OPEN Launches Its Multi-Sensory Programme at Milan Design Week 2013

BE OPEN Installation: House of the Senses by Christophe Pillet, part of INTERNI’s
Video installation by Studio Azzurro
Università Statale di Milano, Cortile della Farmacia
8-21 April

Zang Tumb Tumb, interactive experience by Sfelab
Winners of the BE OPEN Competition for Young Talents in Interactive Design
Università Statale di Milano, Cortile della Farmacia
8-21 April

Today saw the opening of BE OPEN’S installations House of the Senses and Zang Tumb Tumb at the Fuorisalone, as co-producer of INTERNI’s Hybrid Architecture & Design exhibition at Università Statale.

Celebrated architect and designer Christophe Pillet had been selected by an international jury to create a sensory pavilion in the University’s Cortile della Farmacia, part of BE OPEN’s extensive programme to research design for the five senses through innovative projects that reach out to the sixth sense, or intuition. The Foundation is committed to developing this concept, finding ways of connecting with people’s intuitive responses through inventive combinations of the sensory and the technological, to create the ultimate in multi-sensory experiences.

During the press conference with INTERNI BE OPEN’S Founder Elena Baturina said “For the last year, we have been making a long journey through the senses. Miami, London and now, finally Milan have all been stages in our moving towards an understanding of the sixth sense. We did not create BE OPEN to find quick and easy answers but more to start to discuss on a global level, to involve everyone – from creative and specialists to young talents – to share idea and to help us to look at the ordinary with different eyes.”

Pillet’s pavilion, House of the Senses, contrasts with Zang Tumb Tumb, a series of interactive design works by multidisciplinary practice Sfelab, winners of the BE OPEN Competition for Young Talents in Interactive Design.  The juxtaposition of these works manifests this fascinating combination of the sensory and technological.

The House of the Senses is a contemplative pavilion located in the center of Cortile Farmacia and integrated with the existing geometry of the formal garden.  Visitors enter a simple black wooden box, covered in vegetation, to find themselves surrounded by a constantly changing series of projected images created by Studio Azzurro.  Floor and ceiling are made from a special reflective material that enhances the impressionist effect of the space, endlessly reflecting the images that are projected onto the walls.  Six tall, slim trees rise through the roof and become the heart of the installation, bringing nature into contact with the screen technology.  Visitors move between this intriguing pavilion and Sfelab’s interactive installations in the surrounding portico where visitors can change the mood and tone of the XV century surroundings by setting off sonic waves and illuminations.

The installation is a perfect response to the Hybrid theme set by Interni.  The House of the Senses is in its own courtyard off the main university Cortile, where works by architects from around the world deal with the notion of hybrid through eclectic use of materials, as well as sensitivity to indoor and outdoor, nature and culture.  The concept of ‘contamination’ is strong in all of these structures, where cross-fertilisation between disciplines and regions is very evident, reinforcing the current interest in global difference and influence, which is to become a key factor in BE OPEN’s activities for the year ahead.

Tomorrow will see an eminent group of thinkers and designers discussing the sensory future in the BE OPEN Talk Senses and Tastes, followed by a unique food experience at Moroso’s showroom where design and eating come together in a constantly changing interior setting courtesy of Studio Urquiola and chefs Massimilano Alajmo and I’m a Kombo.