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The BMW Guggenheim Lab

The BMW Guggenheim Lab is a mobile laboratory traveling around the world to inspire innovative ideas for urban life.

Photo of Sarah Fathallah
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"The BMW Guggenheim Lab is a mobile laboratory traveling to nine major cities worldwide over six years. Led by international, interdisciplinary teams of emerging talents in the areas of urbanism, architecture, art, design, science, technology, education, and sustainability, the Lab addresses issues of contemporary urban life through programs and public discourse. Its goal is the exploration of new ideas, experimentation, and ultimately the creation of forward-thinking solutions for city life (...), exploring notions of individual and collective comfort and the urgent need for environmental and social responsibility."

For its first year, the Lab launched in New York this year, and will be traveling to Berlin and then Mumbai next.

"The public is invited to attend and to participate in free programs and experiments at the Lab. In addition, the BMW Guggenheim Lab website and social communities provide opportunities for participants around the world to engage with and to contribute to the ideas and experiments generated by the Lab."

One of these online experiments is included in the image I've included above. Visitors are asked "How would you improve comfort in the city?", and answers vary from "bicycles for everybody" or "more green spaces" to "more love" and "putting sofas on every corner".

You can also play with a virtual Urbanology installation on your own: It's very cool, I suggest you do it :) After answering 10 questions, your "Future City" will be revealed and compared to other users. For example, after I played, my Future City is most similar to Sao Paolo, it's highest priority is livability, and its lowest is wealth (coming from a finance background, I think that's ironic ^^).

The offline events they held so far in NYC included:

  • Screenings (e.g. "Battle for Brooklyn", "Bogota Change", etc.)
  • Talks (e.g. "Growing Up and Old on the Lower East Side", Sustainability, etc.)
  • Tours (e.g. tours of Garbage centers, etc.)
  • Fieldwork (e.g. Trash Mapping, etc.)
  • Workshops (e.g. Urban meditation series, etc.)

I really like the "itinerant" aspect of this project, that might allow in the future better cross-pollination and understanding of urban challenges on a global scale.

What do you guys think of these type of projects? 


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Photo of Szilvia Varga

This is really great, thanks for sharing!
Seems like my future city is Houston where the highest prio is given to sustainability and lowest to affordability. But looking at more scores it got pretty low on innovation and transportation too, so I don't think I'll move there ;)

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