BMW Guggenheim Lab Launches Urbanology Online

BMW Guggenheim Lab Launches Urbanology Online, an Interactive Game Exploring Issues of City Life

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The Game

Urbanology, an interactive game that addresses issues that arise when cities grow and inhabitants try to institute lasting change, launches online today at

Urbanology online is the companion to the large-scale, interactive installation at the BMW Guggenheim Lab, currently in New York's East Village through October 16. More than 13,500 people have already experienced the group game and now people worldwide have the chance to participate.

By answering questions about key urban issues—education, housing, health care, infrastructure, and mobility—players role-play scenarios for city transformation to build a city that matches their specific desires and needs. Based on their personal responses, the player's "Future City" is created and compared with other cities around the world.

Questions include:

• A huge piece of graffiti is attracting tourists. Will you enforce existing city policy and have the graffiti removed?
• Many apartments are empty, but there is a shortage of affordable housing. Will you allow the city to forcibly purchase apartments and make them affordable?
• Will you authorize a law that forbids the purchase of school textbooks made of less than 50% recycled materials, even though it will raise their cost?
• Will you install streetlights that are 20% dimmer than the existing lights to save money and electricity?

Players can also suggest questions for future Urbanology sessions online and at the Lab, provoking thought and collective global exchange among the players and giving them the ability to actively lead the discussion at the Lab.

The online game will continue to be available on the website after the BMW Guggenheim Lab leaves New York to travel to other cities around the world.

The game experience for Urbanology was developed by Local Projects, and the physical design was created by ZUS [Zones Urbaines Sensibles].

Website and Blog

In addition to Urbanology, visitor information and program schedules, features rich multimedia content, including programming and behind-the-scenes videos and images, and the ability to comment and share posts through e-mail and social media channels. Activities at the BMW Guggenheim Lab are reported on through the blog at, which will also feature posts by notable guest writers and regular interviews with the BMW Guggenheim Lab's collaborators.

BMW Guggenheim Lab

The BMW Guggenheim Lab is a public space for the exploration of ideas for urban life. Housed in a mobile structure designed by the Tokyo architecture firm Atelier Bow-Wow, the BMW Guggenheim Lab launched on August 3 in First Park, a New York City Parks property at Houston Street and Second Avenue. The New York Lab Team—comprised of an environmental justice activist, an inventor, a journalist, and two architects—is leading investigation into innovative concepts and designs for city life in response to the theme Confronting Comfort. Over six years, the BMW Guggenheim Lab will travel to nine cities around the world in three successive cycles, each with its own theme and mobile structure. After New York, the BMW Guggenheim Lab will travel to Berlin (spring 2012) and Mumbai (winter 2012–13).

The BMW Guggenheim Lab is open in New York from August 3 to October 16, 2011, Wednesdays through Sundays. Admission and all events are free.

Social Media

Visitors are invited to become members of the BMW Guggenheim Lab's dedicated social communities at: and #BGLab

Press Kit

For the complete press kit, go to
For publicity images and videos go User ID = photoservice, Password = presspass


Nora Semel, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
T: 212 423 3881 / E:

Melissa Parsoff, Ruder Finn
T: 212 593 5889 / E:

August 18, 2011

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