BE OPEN Starts a New Experimental Phase for the Sound Portal With University of the Arts London

Launching within the framework of BE OPEN: Inside the Academy, which is the educational platform set up by the think tank, the project is part of a broader aim to explore the five traditional senses with the goal of discovering how to trigger the elusive sixth sense, or intuition. The foundation is committed to developing this concept through innovative projects that create the ultimate synthesis of the sensory and technology.

Following its highly successful public unveiling in Trafalgar Square, as a landmark event at the 2012 London Design Festival, the BE OPEN Sound Portal will now be the focus for an inter-college project with University of the Arts London, running April to June 2013.

The Portal (designed by Arup) will be installed in the Rootstein Hopkins Parade Ground at Chelsea College of Art and Design where the College, alongside Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design and London College of Communication, will use it to explore the unique ambisonic sound space, in three quite different ways.  The colleges will begin their individual programmes with a lecture and master-class series from April which will culminate in a symposium – Sounding Space, at the start of June.

‘Sound as Measure’ led by Chelsea College of Art and Design, sees students experimenting with sound as an integral element of interior and spatial design. The Portal will become the focus of a spectacular external light and soundscape designed to counterpoint to the sound world inside the Portal.

Central Saint Martins ‘Nomad Lab’ looks at the creative potential of working, ‘nomadically’ across different artistic disciplines. Here the Portal will become a conceptual, as well as a physical space. A mixed-discipline postgraduate group will create trans-disciplinary sound works. They will also participate in practical sessions covering areas such as data-sonification, audio programming, multi-channel sound and physical computing. The project will involve two student-based commissions and one artist commission.

‘Sound, Place, Memory’, led by London College of Communication, will comprise workshops and themed talks with contributors drawn from the worlds of acoustic archaeology, sensory geography and anthropology, generating three student compositions and two artist compositions.

The tri-partite sound project will link to ‘Resonance FM’ to create a life for the project outside the academic realm.

Dean of Chelsea College of Art and Design, George Blacklock, said: “We are proud to be hosting BE OPEN’s Sound Portal here at Chelsea. BE OPEN’s support gives our students at UAL a unique opportunity to explore the possibilities of working artistically and creatively in an ambisonic sound environment, which they would not have otherwise.”

BE OPEN’s Founder, Elena Baturina, said: “ I am pleased that BE OPEN’s conceptual project continues to evolve, furthering intellectual development. Supporting practical studies, research and sound design with these three world-renowned art colleges underlines BE OPEN’s commitment to exploring the possibilities of sound and the sensory journey.”

About UAL

University of the Arts London comprises six unique art and design colleges, Wimbledon College of Art, London College of Fashion, Camberwell College of Arts, Chelsea College of Art and Design, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London College of Communication

Chelsea College of Art and Design

Chelsea College of Art and Design is a leading British art and design institution with an international reputation. It offers higher education courses in fine art, graphic design, interior design, spatial design and textile design up to PhD level.

Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design

One of the premier arts colleges in the world, Central Saint Martins accepts only the most talented students that apply each year. It is very well regarded in the art, fashion and design worlds. The list of alumni includes literally hundreds of influential artists and designers.

London College of Communication

With a community of nearly 5000 students on its 60 courses, London College of Communication is a world leader in media and design courses that prepare students for successful careers in the creative industries.

About the BE OPEN Sound Portal

The Sound Portal was a landmark project for the 2012 London Design Festival.  Created as an immersive space that focused on the idea of ‘design you can’t see’, it was sited in Trafalgar Square 19-23 September 2012.

Co-produced by BE OPEN and the London Design Festival and designed by Arup, world leaders in acoustic engineering, with content commissioned by Sound and Music, the Portal transported visitors to inaccessible places and remote environments through a series of three-dimensional soundscapes, created by five leading musicians and sound designers.