BMW Guggenheim Lab. Worldwide six-year project – mobile laboratory as free, public platform for urban experiments.
In October 2010, the collaboration of Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation and BMW Group gave rise to a long-term cooperative project, the BMW Guggenheim Lab. The project was first launched in 2011 in New York City. Beginning on June 15, 2012, the lab will make a stop-over in Berlin, before moving on to Mumbai in late 2012.
Idea: Conceived as an innovative, mobile structure, the BMW Guggenheim Lab provides a public forum for the exchange of ideas. It is intended to inspire the development of solutions to the challenges resulting from modern urban life. The project comprises three cycles over a period of six years, during which the lab will travel to a total of nine cities in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia. Each two-year cycle will feature a distinct architectural language and graphic design and will address a specific topic. This forward-thinking cooperation will address citizens, guests and institutions of the respective cities as well as an ever-growing online community.
People: An international Lab Team, a team of experts from various areas of proficiency such as artists, architects and scientists, will develop free public programmes addressing one specific theme. Suggested by an advisory committee of internationally renowned experts (including artists, scientists, winners of a Nobel Prize, former mayors of the cities of Bogotá and Harare), each team will consist of four members chosen specifically for every city. In addition, two curators of the Guggenheim Museum will be heading the teams.
Theme: The theme of the BMW Guggenheim Lab’s first cycle is “Confronting Comfort”. The lab addresses crucial issues of contemporary urban life with the goal of exploring how to shape the urban environment to better meet people’s needs. The focus is directed on how to improve the quality of life as well as on how to achieve a balance between the continuous quest for wealth and the demand for sustainability and social responsibility. At the site, participants can join online networks, exchange ideas and contribute to the development of forward-thinking ideas and solutions for urban centres. In addition, the lab is intended to work closely with the local community and to foster local commitment.