BE OPEN Celebrates its First Birthday and Sheds Light on Sensory Design in the Future at Milan Design Week 2013

MILAN, April 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — BE OPEN, the social and cultural initiative committed to creativity and innovation, took sensory design as its theme for this year’s Fuorisalone.  Working with artists, designers, architects and thinkers at the forefront of their fields, the Foundation explored the interface between sensory and technological design through a series of fascinating events and installations that offered visitors the ultimate in multi-sensory experiences.

Having launched at the 2012 Fuorisalone, and so now celebrating its first birthday, BE OPEN returned this year as co-producer of INTERNI’s Hybrid Architecture & Design exhibition at the Università Statale.  An international jury selected architect and designer Christophe Pillet to create House of the Senses, an installation that would engage visitors in a multi-sensory journey and would complement and yet contrast with Sfelab’s interactive installation Zang Tumb Tumb in the adjacent portico. The latter won the BE OPEN Competition for Young Talents in Interactive Design, a platform for young talent.

The BE OPEN Talk Senses and Tastes, held on 9 April at the Aula di Rappresentanza, Università Statale involved a panel of prominent creatives, artists and scholars sharing their thoughts about sensory design in the future.  Key thoughts were about the benefits of cross-fertilising skills and ideas, bringing people together who can enhance each other’s thinking to create the eco-balance crucial to a sustainable, harmonious future.

The most talked about event in BE OPEN’s schedule was the Tuesday evening BE OPEN Food Theatre, a unique collaboration between designer Patrizia Urquiola and cutting edge chefs I’m a Kombo from Denmark at the Moroso showroom.  Urquiola had created a revolving ‘stage’ for the chefs to work in, giving an ever-changing backdrop to their ‘performance’.  The chefs had responded by theming their menu in the colours of her setting and by creating fabric coasters for glasses of hot, fragrant berry/Prosecco tea and fabric ‘bowls’ that hooked onto the bottles of blended fresh juices and cocktails that were handed out to guests, so that one could hold a bowl-sized snack and drink in just one hand, leaving the other free to greet other guests.  The eating and drinking experience therefore involved social interaction and touching Kvadrat’s sensual textiles, whilst ‘eating’ the colours and textures of the room and tasting menu: a total, synaesthetic immersion.

This event was the precursor to BE OPEN’s new ParisDakar project, a series of concept restaurants for our increasingly global nomad culture.  The restaurants 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.

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 ideas and to help us to look at the ordinary with different eyes.

“It is a pleasure for us to announce that a new theme will be launched for 2013/14: exploring the interaction between the North, South, East and West in terms of culture and creative approach.  The aim will be to analyse issues that are common to cities around the world and how they can approach and solve them collaboratively.”