Taste, Touch, Sight, Sound and Smell: BE OPEN Brings a Sensory Feast to Milan Design Week 2013

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

Zang Tumb Tumb, interactive experience by Sfelab

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

BE OPEN Talk: Senses and Tastes, moderated by Philippe Daverio
Participants: Aldo Cibic, Davide Oldani, Christophe Pillet, Michelangelo Pistoletto, John Thackara
9 April 14.30 – 16.30
Università Statale di Milano, Aula di Rappresentanza

BE OPEN Food Theatre Food experience by Massimiliano Alajmo and I’m a Kombo
Installation by Patricia Urquiola
Furniture by Moroso, textiles by Kvadrat
9 April, 17.30 press preview
Moroso Showroom

BE OPEN’S journey continues in Milan at Fuorisalone 2013.  After the launch at last year’s Milan Design Week, BE OPEN returns this year at Università Statale.

Installation visualisation by Christophe Pillet as co-producer of INTERNI’s Hybrid Architecture & Design project, from 8-21 April, with an installation by Christophe Pillet in the University’s Cortile della Farmacia, the BE OPEN Talk, a panel disucssion moderated by Philippe Daverio on the sensory future and the BE OPEN Food Theatre at the Moroso showroom, a unique food experience.

These events are a part of an 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.

“This is BE OPEN’s second year at Milan’s international Design Week, underlining its commitment to becoming a bridge between the great minds of our time — philosophers, sociologists, designers, architects, artists, publishers, writers, businessmen and opinion leaders— and the promising new minds of the next generation.” (Elena Baturina, Founder of BE OPEN)

BE OPEN’s installation at the University is a part of Interni Magazine’s Hybrid Architecture & Design project. BE OPEN’s House of the Senses, an architectural installation by leading architect and designer Christophe Pillet, will be juxtaposed with Zang Tumb Tumb, a series of interactive design works by multidisciplinary practice Sfelab.  Animating the XV century portico that surrounds the courtyard, Zang Tumb Tumb’s technological interface will dialogue with Pillet’s tactile, sensory work.  Sfelab were the winners of the BE OPEN Competition for Young Talents in Interactive Design, a platform for young talent.

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.

“I wanted to give a pared down, almost simplistic vision of architecture,” says Pillet. “The outside is rather ‘quaint’ – a simple black wood box, covered in vegetation.  Inside an eclectic, impressionistic collage of random video images loops in no particular order.  The visitor can only have a visceral response to these very different experiences – a sensory overload.”

The three walls of the pavilion are screens for moving 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 will be drawn by the pulse of films streamed onto the pavilion and by Sfelab’s interactive performances in the surrounding colonnade, all geared towards investigating how technology can enhance sensual experience.

Prominent creatives, artists and scholars, such as celebrated artist Michelangelo Pistoletto, inspirational designer Aldo Cibic, innovation guru John Thackara, star chef Davide Oldani and global architect / designer Christophe Pillet, will share their thoughts about the sensory future in the BE OPEN Talk Senses and Tastes – a panel discussion moderated by Philippe Daverio at the Aula di Rappresentanza at Statale University.

The Fuorisalone will also be the setting for the launch of the BE OPEN Food Theatre at the Moroso showroom, a brand new element of the foundation’s sensory programme. On 9 April, BE OPEN will host a unique event focusing on the sense of taste, with an innovative food experience at Moroso’s showroom in via Pontaccio.  Using Kvadrat’s textiles and Moroso’s furniture, celebrated designer Patricia Urquiola will create a ‘stage’ where Italian Massimiliano Alajmo, the world’s youngest chef to be awarded 3 Michelin Stars and the Danish duo I’m a Kombo will perform.

Massimiliano Alajmo’s dinner ‘performance’ will be inspired by the theme of colour and a different sense will be integrated in to each one of his dishes There will be a course that will allow the guests to perceive the sound of food; a course which is to be experienced wearing glasses with orange lenses and for the dessert, a scent reminiscent of childhood will be sprayed into the room. The huge table designed by Patricia Urquiola will be covered in plants in reference to the natural act of eating.

I’m A KOMBO’s menu brings avant-garde Nordic cuisine together with traditional Italian food. Their cocktail will convey the sense of touch, referencing the platters that Urquiola is covering in Kvadrat’s variously coloured and textured textiles. The menu has been designed to complement Uriquiola’s installation, offering a welcoming space for guests.

This event is the precursor to BE OPEN’s Paris-Dakar project, a series of concept restaurants that will be designed in collaboration with the most interesting creatives of our time, a journey where taste is brought into dialogue with the other senses and where different food cultures meet to create a unique experience.  Paris-Dakar is one of BE OPEN’S business development projects, where young and established creatives can develop innovative concepts and projects to improve our future.