BMW Guggenheim urban-life lab completes Berlin run
BERLIN – The BMW Guggenheim Lab Berlin has concluded its six weeks of programs exploring issues of urban life, with a focus on the importance of “doing and making” to activate change. The lab, which operated from June 15 to July 29, was located in Prenzlauer Berg in the Pfefferberg complex. Berlin was the second stop of the project’s six-year, nine-city global tour, attracting 27,144 visitors over 33 days. A range of free, participatory programs—including 97 talks, 101 workshops, 14 screenings, 5 special events and 27 city-wide explorations—offered practical ways to empower residents with tools and ideas for shaping their urban environments.
The lab’s wide-ranging programs were developed by Berlin lab team members José Gómez-Márquez, Carlo Ratti, Corinne Rose, and Rachel Smith, together with Guggenheim curator Maria Nicanor, around the theme of Confronting Comfort. Programs included prototyping workshops organized by Gómez-Márquez, a showcase of city transformation projects led by Smith, talks about psychology and cities as well as a panel discussion on the controversial Berlin land policy known as the Liegenschaftspolitik organized by Rose, and discussions about the importance of temporary architecture led by Ratti.
In addition, the Berlin lab jump-started three city projects that will continue to develop after the Lab’s departure from Berlin: an interactive biking map of Berlin; a mobile workshop and online map researching publicly owned lots in Berlin to solicit resident feedback on future uses; and a neighborhood garden project.
Findings from the Berlin lab are currently being analyzed, and will be available this fall.
“Berlin has a deeply rooted system of citizen participation that has had a profound effect on every aspect of the BMW Guggenheim Lab,” said Maria Nicanor, Curator. “We have had the opportunity not only to discuss some of the key urban topics for Berlin but also to work with local groups to advance a variety of practical projects that we hope will benefit Berliners in the months and years to come.”
“It has been immensely rewarding to have worked and spoken with Berliners of all viewpoints and backgrounds, and to explore their ideas for addressing the challenges cities face today,” said the Berlin lab team in a joint statement. “Their participation has been an asset to our work and to all of the programs at the Lab, which could not have happened without their help.”
The BMW Guggenheim Lab will travel next to Mumbai. At the conclusion of the Lab’s first three-city cycle, a special exhibition will be presented at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, exploring issues that were raised, addressed, and presented at the project’s venues in New York, Berlin, and Mumbai.
The BMW Guggenheim Lab continues to provide a global, online forum for the exchange of ideas at bmwguggenheimlab.org, the project’s blog, Lab | Log, and its dedicated social communities on Twitter (@BMWGuggLab and #BGLab), Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, and Foursquare.
The BMW Guggenheim Lab Berlin was presented in cooperation with ANCB The Metropolitan Laboratory.
About the BMW Guggenheim Lab:
The BMW Guggenheim Lab is a joint initiative of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and the BMW Group. Housed in a mobile structure designed by Tokyo architecture firm Atelier Bow-Wow, the BMW Guggenheim Lab launched in the summer of 2011 in New York. Over six years, the BMW Guggenheim Lab will travel to a total of nine cities around the world in three successive two-year cycles, each with its own theme and structure. The BMW Guggenheim Lab will travel to Mumbai in winter 2012–13. Details about the Mumbai stop, as well as the second cycle of the BMW Guggenheim Lab, will be announced this fall. The BMW Guggenheim Lab is curated by David van der Leer and Maria Nicanor of the Guggenheim Museum.
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