BE OPEN and Cumulus Announce Final Winners of their International Student Design Competition in Support of UN’s SDGs

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Launching the SDG programme, former UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon encouraged young people to take action: “Be a global citizen. Act with passion and compassion. Help us make this world safer and more sustainable today and for the generations that will follow us.” Concordantly, BE OPEN and Cumulus too strongly believe in the creative potential of younger people and their ability to look at the world with fresh eyes and to come up with ideas no one has found before.

“Design for Sustainable Cities” collected hundreds of submissions from students and graduates of all art, design, architecture and media disciplines of universities and colleges worldwide. The competition aims to encourage creation of innovative solutions by younger creatives, for more sustainable cities. The focus of the competition is the United Nations’ SDG11: Sustainable Cities and Communities.

In addition to the Main Prize (€5,000) and Safe City Prize (€2,000) awarded at the decision of the international expert jury, there have been allocated two more prizes:

The open online vote defined the Public Vote Prize winner of €2,000 – our congratulations go to Catalina Mutis Gutiérrez from Universidad de los Andes, Colombia. Catalina is an architecture graduate from Bogota, and her Innovation Laboratory projects gathered over 5000 votes. Innovation Laboratory is an urban renovation project which allows experimentation in areas of architecture such as housing, public space and an innovation center in a disused block in the historical center of Bogotá.

The awardee of the Founder’s Choice Prize has been selected by Founder of BE OPEN Elena Baturina: €3,000 go to Dharan Koruduvar of CEPT University, India. Dharan is a taking a Bachelor course in Urban Design. Sva: A Vision of Self-sustenance pivots on the link between city, food and productive landscapes. Dharan proposes to design and introduce an ‘ideal sector’ for producing food on an everyday basis that deals with waste, water, energy, food on its own, and therefore is sustainable and self-sufficient.

Elena Baturina, Founder of BE OPEN, commented on her choice: “I was amazed at the depth of the research conducted for the project. It takes a lot of commitment and determination to tackle an issue of such importance and scale. And I find the passion behind designing a sustainable solution for one’s hometown so very endearing. BE OPEN will further make every effort to make sure all these solutions are seen and heard by those able to make them our common sustainable reality.”


BE OPEN and Cumulus once again thank all the participants and invite them to partake in future competitions.

BE OPEN is a global initiative to foster creativity and innovation, a think tanks whose mission is to promote people and ideas today to build solutions for tomorrow. It is a cultural and social initiative supported by the Russian philanthropist, businesswoman and entrepreneur Elena Baturina.

Elena Baturina set up BE OPEN to allow people to experience new ways of seeing. The aim is to help brilliant young creatives to shape the future. BE OPEN operates through a system of conferences, competitions, exhibitions, master classes and cultural events.

BE OPEN sees its mission in connecting the bright minds of the next generation with the leading creative luminaries of today, from fields as diverse as philosophy, art, design and business. It pays particular attention to promoting creative education at any age, thus trying to help prepare specialists in diverse areas able to develop non-conventional solutions due to that well-trained ‘creative muscle’.

Cumulus, the International Association of Universities and Colleges of Art, Design and Media, is a global association to serve art and design education and research. It is a forum for partnership and transfer of knowledge and best practices. Following current trends and demands, Cumulus offers wider international context for discussion and developments in education and research of art, design and media.