BE OPEN to launch worldwide project on handmade creativity

BE OPEN to launch worldwide project on handmade creativity

The global philanthropic foundation announces a search for the future of creativity that starts in India with a focus on making from February 11 to March 1, 2014 in New Delhi, India

Each year BE Open announces a theme that guides their research, in 2012 the topic was on design and sense, while the theme for 2014 is North/South – East/West. Travelling to the four corners of the world, the foundation will involve a new generation of makers and designers, as well as students, academics and retail industry professionals, to develop the subject, exploring where and how our diverse cultures can meet and how to take traditional skills into the future, through innovation and technology.

The journey of discovery begins in India, where, from the time of the Mughals through the Rajput, to the present day, Indian craftsmen have been commissioned to carve and inlay marble, wood and stone, to weave in silk and to mould in clay. “Made in India” will showcase furniture and tablewear, textiles and jewels that reveal an imaginative reinterpretation of traditional crat skills by contemporary Indian designers. A range of pieces by around fifteen designers will be installed in the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts in New Delhi, in a bespoke space created by architect Anupama Kundoo. Kundoo will also design a unified way of presenting the work, both graphically and from a branding point of view. Far from being an exhibition of contemporary craft. “Made in India” is an experimental approach to re-positioning locally made, handcrafted goods to give them global appeal.

Yelena Baturina, founder of BE OPEN: “Business is in my DNA, so I cannot help but bring a business focus to this project as well. WE feel that the future of the handmade is about keeping it out of the moribund museum space and instead making it live and breathe by becoming part of the market economy. Working with local experts, BE OPEN has been looking at today’s most promising Indian designers, encouraging them to think beyond their usual market, and by giving them the opportunity to present their work from a completely new perspective, so that it appeals to a much wider international audience. Made in … is launching i8n India, not least because its culture reveals such a fascinating and stark dichotomy between tradition and modernity.  This means that there is a tremendous legacy of skilled work and a willingness to take it forward into the future.”

BE OPEN is working with eminent design consultant, President of India’s Fashion Design Council, Sunil Sethi for this project. Sethi has been a pioneer in terms of changing perceptions of India abroad, through events such as Bollywood at London’s Selfridges (2002), and installations at Conran shops internationally (2007), amongst others. He stated: “We have chosen designers to represent all of the craft skills for which India is best known, yet will be showing them in a light that will dramatically change the way that people might think about the tagline “Made in India”. For many Indian goods are associated with poor quality and cheap labour. The BE OPEN Project will prove that there is a vast potential to reverse that perception.”

Please check also Textile-Future’s Event Calendar for more details on the event.

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