London Design Festival 2012
Trafalgar Square, 19-23 September
BE OPEN Sound Portal arrives in the Square
This September sees the arrival of the BE OPEN Sound Portal in Trafalgar Square as part of the tenth anniversary of the London Design Festival 2012. Situated within one of London’s most iconic public spaces, the BE OPEN Sound Portal is an entirely new kind of installation that focuses on the design that you can’t see – that of acoustics and sound – rather than visual spectacle.
An alien black, rubberised structure will be home to finely-tuned audio technologies aimed at delivering pure acoustic experiences to visitors in the middle of Trafalgar Square – one of the busiest and aurally chaotic environments in London.
Every day, the BE OPEN Sound Portal will host one of five leading musicians and sound artists, each of whom has been specially commissioned to create a unique soundscape. Expect a range of vibrant sonic and musical responses, from the dramatic sounds of the natural world, such as glaciers breaking up, to exquisitely detailed electronic music. Cocooned from the external noise and bustle of the city, the BE OPEN Sound Portal allows visitors to experience a very different environment, one created by sound alone.
BE OPEN Foundation, the global initiative to foster creativity and innovation, and the London Design Festival are co-producing a project in Trafalgar Square. BE OPEN was set up to explore ways in which excellence in creative thinking can produce real social innovation, encouraging new work at the frontiers of design. One of the things that attracted BE OPEN to this project is that it’s effectively an ambitious mobile laboratory for exploring the boundaries of what can be achieved with sound technology – an active demonstration of design’s transformational abilities .
Elena Baturina, founder of BE OPEN, says,
“We’ve set up BE OPEN so that we can work with the great creative minds of today, encouraging them to continue to innovate so that they can improve on what we have and generate solutions for tomorrow’s world. The designers of the BE OPEN Sound Portal and those who will be creating soundscapes for it are at the cutting edge: they are the future of acoustic evolution. So a journey into the BE OPEN Sound Portal is a must for anyone interested in hearing what tomorrow will be like.”
The BE OPEN Sound Portal is designed by Arup, world leaders in the area of acoustic engineering, with content commissioned by contemporary music organisation Sound and Music. One of the challenges that the Portal has set itself is how to change our experience of urban space. Arup’s acoustic technicians, engineers and designers have long been pioneers in this field, using sound design to change how we experience airports, stadiums, auditoriums, even roads. The BE OPEN Sound Portal gives them a real life experimental space to develop this work and actively demonstrate design’s transformational capabilities.
The five sound artists and composers include award winning Norwegian artist Jana Winderen, radical Drum and Bass pioneer Tom Jenkinson (Squarepusher) and a Russian artist sourced in collaboration with BE OPEN, Ivan Pavlov.
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