Sandberg Institute Wins BE OPEN Inside the Academy Prize at Design Miami/ Basel 2012

A prize for achievements in design education

Sandberg Institute has been selected to win the BE OPEN Inside the Academy Prize, from a shortlist of six leading European design schools: La Cambre, Belgium; Ecole Cantonale d’art de Lausanne (ECAL), Switzerland; Hochschule Basel, Switzerland; Konstfack, Stockholm, Sweden; Sandberg Institute Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Glasgow School of Art, UK.


The prize aims to spotlight how institutions are nurturing students today to use design thinking to make a positive impact on tomorrow. Each institution was asked to present three projects that best reflect its approach to design thinking and its educational mission.  BE OPEN Inside the Academy Installation is on display at Design Miami/ Basel from 12-17 June 2012.

BE OPEN Inside the Academy Prize grants the winning institution the opportunity to select and host a series of distinguished guest lecturers to further its curriculum development.

The BE OPEN Inside the Academy Installation reveals a selection of highly imaginitive projects by outstanding students currently or recently enrolled.  They range from the practical – SCRW, furniture design derived from an everyday object, a cork and Ar Vag, a folding vessel with oars intended for use as a shuttle between the shore and a larger vessel, to the esoteric: Visionary Periphery, an invitation to alter your vision to get a glimpse of what else you could have created for your mind to live in; and the political: READ, an attempt to reduce the editorial influence of newspapers in order to stimulate journalism as a creative practice.

The jury – Ron Arad (Designer-Architect), Gilda Bojardi (Interni Magazine), Felix Burrichter (Pin-Up Magazine), Daniel Charny (Curator and Educator), Johanna Agerman Ross (Disegno Magazine) – selected the winning university for its progressive attitude and appropriately social and political agenda.  Daniel Charny said “Sandberg shows an ambitious rethinking of what the learning experience can give students.”

BE OPEN Founder Elena Baturina said “The schools that entered our first edition of BE OPEN Inside the Academy are united in their missions not just to fulfil the usual academic curriculum, but to mentor their students and help them get their feet on the first rung of the design career ladder.  This is a crucial part of BE OPEN’s thinking. I define the purpose of BE OPEN as an ‘intellectual development’, investing in the creation of added value for future generations.”

Jurgen Bey, Director of the winning school said “It is unique, and much appreciated, to find a prize that focuses on education and not just on star designers.  We encourage the journey of learning, raising questions to which there may be no answers – that is how development begins and it is wonderful that BE OPEN recognises this.”

BE OPEN is  launching the new platform  BE OPEN Inside the Academy in Basel this June with Design/Miami/ Basel, the global forum for design, in order to draw attention to the importance of education today in nurturing the designers who will shape our world tomorrow. For the first edition of this prize, leading institutions have been drawn from across Europe, but the intention is to expand the program to encompass a broader range of regions in the future.

An online popular vote for the best project on the BE OPEN website grants the group of students from the winning school – La Cambre, Belgium –  an invitation to the London Design Festival in September 2012 as a guest of BE OPEN.  BE OPEN and the London Design Festival are co-producing the BE OPEN Sound Portal in Trafalgar Square for September 2012.