BMW Guggenheim Lab Berlin to Open on May 24, 2012

Berlin Lab Team

Richard Armstrong, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, and Frank-Peter Arndt, Member of the Board of Management, BMW AG, have announced that the BMW Guggenheim Lab will operate in Berlin from May 24 to July 29, 2012. The four-person Lab Team for Berlin—an international group of experts and innovators—also was announced. Berlin is the second stop in the Lab’s nine-city tour, which premiered in New York earlier this year.

The BMW Guggenheim Lab Berlin, a combination think tank, public forum, and community center, will be located in the Pfefferberg complex in the Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood. Like the BMW Guggenheim Lab New York, the Berlin Lab will be housed in an innovative mobile structure designed by Tokyo-based architects Atelier Bow-Wow. The Lab is presented in collaboration with ANCB–Metropolitan Laboratory and will offer a range of free programs exploring issues confronting urban life. Programming for the Lab will be created by the newly appointed Berlin Lab Team, together with Guggenheim curator Maria Nicanor.

During its six-year run, which will conclude in late 2016, the BMW Guggenheim Lab will travel to nine cities in three successive cycles, each with its own distinct theme and architectural structure, to help raise awareness of important urban challenges and yield sustainable benefits for cities around the world. After Berlin, the Lab will travel to Mumbai, in 2012-13.

Berlin Lab Team
The Berlin Lab Team includes: José Gómez-Márquez, program director for the Innovations in International Health Initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston; architect and engineer Carlo Ratti, who practices in Italy and directs the SENSEable City Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston; Berlin-based artist Corinne Rose, who works with photography and video and teaches at the Bern University of the Arts, Switzerland; and Rachel Smith, principal transport planner with AECOM, based in Brisbane, Australia. The full Lab Team, which was nominated by the BMW Guggenheim Lab’s Advisory Committee, will develop the programming and be present for the run of the Berlin Lab.

The programming of the Berlin Lab will focus on four main topics determined by the Lab Team: Empowerment Technologies (José Gómez-Márquez); Dynamic Connections (Rachel Smith); Urban Micro-Lens (Corinne Rose); and the Senseable (SENSEable) City (Carlo Ratti). All of the programs will relate to the theme of the first three-city cycle, Confronting Comfort, which explores ways of making urban environments more responsive to people’s needs, striking a balance between individual and collective comfort, and promoting environmental and social responsibility. The programs will be designed to directly and proactively engage residents from all parts of Berlin and will address ideas and issues of particular relevance to the city.

Highlights from the New York Lab
The Lab was open in New York at First Park, Houston Street at 2nd Avenue, from August 3 through October 16, 2011. Over 53 days, the Lab offered 58 talks, 48 workshops, 28 screenings, 24 special events, 21 excursions, and nine fieldwork sessions, all of which were developed by the New York Lab Team, together with Guggenheim curators. More than 54,000 visitors from 60 countries attended Lab programs in New York, and 329,000 people from 168 countries visited the Lab’s website.

In addition, the BMW Guggenheim Lab received 45,000 Facebook likes and more than 40,000 YouTube views. The Lab’s interactive online game, Urbanology, has been played more than 26,000 times, and nearly 3,000 people have submitted ideas for the BMW Guggenheim Lab’s interactive logo.

“Even with an earthquake, a hurricane and 29 inches of rain, the Lab sparked countless conversations around the world, and even inspired a marriage proposal,” said Richard Armstrong. “We could not have achieved this success without the foresight, support, and trust of the East Village community, the City of New York, and our fantastic collaborator BMW.”

Berlin Lab Team. Photo: Maria Nicanor © The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, 2011


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