Opening in Mumbai from Sunday, December 9, 2012 through Sunday, January 20, 2013 and presented in collaboration with the Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum, the BMW Guggenheim Lab will offer free public programmes and projects throughout the city under the theme ‘ME=WE’. On the third stop of this mobile initiative, the Mumbai Lab will address challenges and opportunities related to public space and the choices Mumbaikars make to balance individual and community interests.
Part urban think tank, community centre and public gathering space, the BMW Guggenheim Lab is a global project aimed at raising awareness of important urban challenges and inspiring an ongoing conversation in cities around the world. The six-week programme at the Mumbai Lab’s central site will be presented from 3 to 9pm, Thursday through Monday, on the plaza of the Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum. Activities also will be offered on dedicated dates from 5 to 9pm at additional Labs in five communities throughout the city.
“The purpose of the BMW Guggenheim Lab is to explore urban life in the streets, and through the eyes of the people who live in cities,” said Richard Armstrong, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation. “After launching the Lab in New York and taking it to Berlin, we are excited to bring this project to Mumbai, one of the most complex, populous, and culturally rich cities in the world.”
The Mumbai Lab’s programmes will include design projects, participatory studies, tours, talks, workshops, film screenings and cultural activities. Creative and hands-on activities will bring the public together with design professionals, city officials, and urban planners to address issues related to transportation, housing, water, and governance. In addition, city tours will explore the psychological effects of public space. Design projects include an open competition to develop solutions for a heavily congested traffic junction in Mumbai and an exploration of ways to refit infrastructure with new public space and pedestrian functions.
“Our hope for the programming of the BMW Guggenheim Lab Mumbai is to continue to expand participation beyond the traditional museum audience,” said Mumbai Lab Curator David van der Leer. “Everyone who lives in a city has a stake in its future, and our programs are designed to bring people of all backgrounds and viewpoints together to address important issues related to urban life.”
Programmes have been developed by the Mumbai Lab Team (Aisha Dasgupta, Neville Mars, Trupti Amritwar Vaitla, and Héctor Zamora), an international, multi-disciplinary group of innovators and experts, in coordination with Guggenheim curators David van der Leer and Stephanie Kwai, the Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum team, and locally based programme consultants Sourav Biswas, Vikram Doctor, Naresh Fernandes, Aaron Pereira, Swati Sanghavi, Surabhi Sharma, and Pooja Warier.
Philipp von Sahr, President, BMW Group India said, “There is no better place to host the BMW Guggenheim Lab in Mumbai than the Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum and there is no better partner for this project than the Solomon R Guggenheim Foundation. We fully realise that the Lab, after New York and Berlin, has already come a long way to connect the people of the world to jointly take on the challenges that lie ahead for all of us in the megacities of today and tomorrow. With this realisation comes the knowledge that the reason for the Lab’s success is each and everyone who actively participates in this project, be it online or on site. In this regard, we are already convinced that Mumbai will once again prove to be a welcoming metropolis for new ideas and perpetual innovation.”
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