BE OPEN Launches the Sounding Space Symposium

BE OPEN, the social and cultural initiative committed to creativity and innovation, is continuing its research into the senses by collaborating with UAL on the Sounding Space Symposium in London from 6-7 June.

Sounding Space marks the conclusion of the BE OPEN Sound Portal’s residency at Chelsea College of Art and Design. This state-of-the-art experimental sound space, devised by BE OPEN, Arup and the London Design Festival, was moved to Chelsea after its inaugural week as one of the London Design Festival 2012 landmark events, in the middle of Trafalgar Square.

Students from Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design, London College of Communication and Chelsea College of Art and Design have had an opportunity to explore the unique ambisonic sound space in three quite different ways. With a focus on urbanism and sound, Sounding Space will showcase the work of each college.  Keynote speeches will be made by celebrated sound artist Bill Fontana and by Dr John Drever, Head of the Unit for Sound Practice Research, at Goldsmiths, University of London.  He promotes ’sound-conscious’ design and management of the urban soundscape, as proposed in The Sounder City: The Mayor’s Ambient Noise Strategy (2004).

BE OPEN Founder Elena Baturina says, “We wanted to work with UAL’s world-renowned colleges to underline our commitment to supporting both practical study and innovative thinking. Our aim is to help brilliant young creatives to shape the future and to do that, they have to be exposed to inspiring ideas today, ideas they can evolve to improve on our tomorrow.”

Researching sound and its effect on our cities is a theme that will underpin discussion throughout the symposium.  BE OPEN’S ongoing mission is to research the key issues affecting our lives today, working with innovative thinkers who can come up with creative solutions. A crucial function of the Sound Portal has been to look at the problem of noise in our cities and to find ways of mitigating its impact.

During Sounding Space, BE OPEN will also reveal a series of initiatives for its Inside the Academy programme.  Launched at Design Miami/ Basel in June 2012, BE OPEN Inside the Academy is a platform for the foundation’s increasing activity in the academic realm and its pioneering initiative to support innovation in education, design and creative thinking.  The programme aims to establish a long-term relationship with young creatives worldwide through partnerships with universities and international institutions, as well as via a dedicated awards scheme.

Roberto Zancan, the Deputy Editor of Domus Magazine, will curate the Inside the Academy programme in collaboration with BE OPEN.  He will announce the following projects at a special press briefing at Chelsea College of Art & Design on 6 June:

  • BE OPEN Inside the Academy: Young Talent Award – selected by a world-class jury, this important new prize for the design world will be dedicated to young, emerging designers.  The winner will be awarded 24,000 Euros as a year’s bursary to enable them to continue to evolve their work.
  • BE OPEN Inside the Academy: Design Institute Ranking System – a unique design education ranking system to compare offerings at the key design schools and universities worldwide.  The report will become an essential tool for design students.
  • BE OPEN Inside the Academy: Masters Programme Award: to create an innovative programme with one of the world’s top-ranking design institutes.

The foundation sets a theme each year that is developed through different events and projects and disseminated via the BE OPEN website and social media channels.  The current theme is design for the five senses, involving innovative projects that reach out to the sixth sense, or intuition. BE OPEN has been developing this concept, combining human perception with the infinite possibilities of today’s technology to overcome the limitations we experience and creating an infinite variety of sensations.  Research into the five senses began at the September 2012 London Design Festival, with a series of events conceived around the BE OPEN Sound Portal.

The BE OPEN Sound Portal programme and Sound Symposium at UAL bring the foundation’s sensory year to a close and a new theme will be launched for 2013: the interaction between the North, South, East and West in terms of culture and the different, creative approaches to dealing with critical urban issues of our time.

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