The Be Open Sound Portal at Chelsea College of Art and Design

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Sound Design: Be Open symposium reflects on the future of sound art and design

A six-month exploration of sound design culminated in a two-day symposium bringing together leading sound designers and some of the city’s best creative students. The event was put on by Be Open, a global creative think tank dedicated to “fostering creativity and innovation.” With a year-long theme of design for the five senses, Be Open used London to take on the exploration of sound, which launched at last year’s London Design Festival with the Be Open Sound Portal in Trafalgar Square.

The portal then transferred to the Chelsea College of Art and Design,whose students were given open access to the high tech sound piece along with their colleagues at Central St Martins and the London College of Communication. Each group worked up a project using the portal and presented their findings at the Sounding Space Symposium which took place at Chelsea this week. They were joined on the programme by leading sound artists and academics like Bill Fontana, whose previous work includes turning San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge into a musical instrument that could be played and the seascape below.

Be Open director Gennady Terebkov said: “The work the students have produced is amazing – there’s been some real breakthroughs in the art of sound. It’s great to bring in experts as well and see the cross-fertilisation of ideas. It’s important to raise the subject of urban sound and its influence on public life.”

“The main idea of the foundation is to support bright young creative people whose ideas will define our future. While developing this programme we realised that young people do not always have these opportunities and there is a big demand. It’s good that young people can have their work evaluated by distinguished experts.”

The symposium also saw the launch of Be Open’s integrated student programme Inside The Academy. Led by Roberto Zancan, the main strands of the new scheme will be an awards scheme, a master class program and a ranking system which will seek to recognise the creative potential of particular courses.


The Be Open Sound Portal in Trafalgar Square at last year’s London Design Festival

This article was produced in collaboration with Be Open.