Discovering Openbox

Arts & Culture

28 maart 2020
A tool to stimulate our innate curiosity for the wonders of the world

by Philip Lepoutre, Matei Simion, Rares Popescu & Ileana Puiu

Science Editor & Contributing Writers


How many thoughts cross your mind in 24 hours?

An infinity. When you see or hear things around you, do you notice them, or do you just let them pass?

I see them, I hear them, but I don’t notice them all. How many of these things do you remember?

Maybe one, maybe none, or maybe all of them. If it’s not something that you love, is it useless to you?

Well, as everything is an experience, it’s just about the meaning I give it. I’m wondering...what makes an experience important?

I think every second defines and shapes your whole. One second isn’t your whole life, isn’t it?

My life is the result of every moment so far. But what’s this present moment for you?

It’s a choice. I find something interesting, from an unknown subject or a subject that I am passionate about, it then becomes inspiring and as I go deeper into culture, I discover the history that led to the present.        

"Openbox builds a colorful perception of self-actualization."

Our Science Editor - Philip Lepoutre - had a chat with Matei and Ileana, who are some of the people behind Openbox. The following is a fragment of their exchange which was also had as a conversation on our “The Voice on Radio!” radio show this Friday 27th of March focusing on “Self-isolation during a global pandemic”:

- Philip: “Being an avid explorer and naturally curious, I’ve really enjoyed Openbox, can you tell everyone who is behind Openbox and what you stand for?”

- Matei: “We are a bunch of young adults, studying different topics, excited to share knowledge and ideas about our passions. Not only, but especially when you have to stay at home, it's easy to feel bored or sad, so we try to give people a reason to think and to feel.”

- Philip: “You’ve exposed me to a large variety of topics, including psychology, cinema, and many different music styles. How do you choose what you post, and what is the process through which you go through to actually post a recommendation on your Facebook page?”

- Ileana:  “Everyone has their own different category and each category is absolutely independent. In my case, when I think of something regarding literature, I choose, for example, a novel that I really enjoyed, that changed me a little bit maybe. I also look for an introductive video, maybe from TED-Ed, maybe an interesting review and I select from there as well. I think the process I go through is similar to sharing something with a friend. The only difference is the community.”

- Philip: “What has been the experience of creating such a thing? How exciting was it?”

-Ileana: “Being a part of Openbox is an experience itself. How it all started was very fast and  exciting. I asked Matei all the questions I needed, because I always have to be prepared, and then, at the end of our conversation we both agreed that "Ok, we'll see what's it gonna be" (it didn't rhyme in Romanian though). Everything is still being new so I guess I'm in the same mood, eager to see how it's going to evolve.”

-Matei: “For me it was a bit different. Besides being part of the film section, I also had to make phone calls to gather my friends. But most importantly, I had to find a way to express to my friends my thoughts and feelings about this idea that popped into my mind, now called Openbox.”

You can find a podcast of the full radio show on Spotify, Mixcloud and!

Our streets are full of sorrowful figures, sad and unhappy characters, each a face with its own tragic story. The same can be said about our creations on the internet, where our deepest thoughts run free and where positive events lead a futile battle against sad and shocking news. However terrible our struggle against a global epidemic might be, there is a collective duty to put on the lenses of people who see the glass half full on the table. This very article will be an embodiment of that man, who stands tall and proud in front of his glass of water.

This global epidemic is both a burden we must carry on our shoulders, as well as a blessing for people who manage to understand how to use it to their advantage. However monstrous COVID-19 is, we must find ways to be productive in our educational or institutionalized quarantines, which can be achieved by stimulating our brains with filtered, selected content on the Internet. This is where Openbox comes in, an online platform meant to challenge our beliefs and make us feel curious once again about the wonders of the world.