The BMW Guggenheim Lab launches its nine-city worldwide tour tomorrow in Manhattan's East Village. A combination of think tank, public forum, and community center, the BMW Guggenheim Lab will offer free programs that explore the challenges of today's cities within a mobile structure that was designed to house this urban experiment. Over the next six years, the BMW Guggenheim Lab will go through three successive cycles, each with its own theme and specially designed mobile structure. Each structure will travel to three different locations, building on-site and online communities around the BMW Guggenheim Lab that raise awareness of important issues, generate ideas specific to each urban situation, and engage with innovative and sustainable designs, yielding lasting benefits for cities around the world. At the conclusion of the first cycle, in 2013, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York will present a special exhibition of the findings of the BMW Guggenheim Lab's inaugural three-city tour-to New York, Berlin, and Mumbai. The itineraries of the subsequent two-year cycles will be announced at a later date.
The inaugural BMW Guggenheim Lab is located at First Park, Houston at 2nd Avenue, a New York City Parks property, and is open free of charge Wednesdays to Sundays, from August 3 through October 16. A diverse range of more than 100 programs will address the theme for the BMW Guggenheim Lab's first cycle, Confronting Comfort, exploring how urban environments can be made more responsive to people's needs, how a balance can be found between notions of individual versus collective comfort, and how the urgent need for environmental and social responsibility can be met. Programs include Urbanology, a large-scale interactive group game that can be played both on-site and online, as well as workshops, experiments, discussions, screenings, and off-site tours.
The BMW Guggenheim Lab website and blog offer a global audience a variety of ways to participate in this multidisciplinary urban project. Activities at the BMW Guggenheim Lab will be reported on through the blog, which will also feature posts by notable guest writers and regular interviews with the BMW Guggenheim Lab's collaborators.
"New York City has long been an urban laboratory for new ideas and innovative enterprises, so we are pleased to host the inaugural BMW Guggenheim Lab experiment," said Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. "This creative project provides an important opportunity for New Yorkers to connect and share ideas, and we look forward to the conversations that will take place when the Lab travels around the world."