BMW Guggenheim Lab Berlin to Open in May 2012
International Berlin Lab Team Announced
NEW YORK, NY, November 9, 2011 – Richard Armstrong, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, and Frank-Peter Arndt, Member of the Board of Management, BMW AG, announced today that the BMW Guggenheim Lab will operate in Berlin from May 24 to July 29, 2012. The fourperson Lab Team for Berlin—an international group of experts and innovators— also was announced. Berlin is the second stop in the Labʼs 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 BMW Guggenheim Lab Berlin 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.
As in New York, the BMW Guggenheim Lab Berlin will be housed in a compact temporary facility. Approximately 2,200 square feet in size, the structure can easily fit into dense neighborhoods and travel from city to city.
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.
Lab Team and Program
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. (For detailed biographies, please go to bmwguggenheimlab.org/presskits.) The full Lab Team, which was nominated by the BMW Guggenheim Labʼs 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 peopleʼs 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.
The days and hours of operation of the BMW Guggenheim Lab Berlin, as well as a full programming schedule, will be announced in the months to come.
“We welcome the new BMW Guggenheim Lab Team, which includes one of our own residents, to Berlin, and we canʼt wait to see what they develop for the Lab in late spring. The Berlin Lab Team is currently here, developing program ideas for the site and meeting with a variety of local collaborators with whom they will be working next spring,” said Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit. “As a vibrant and progressive center of culture and creativity, and a laboratory in its own right, Berlin will be an ideal site for this exciting initiative.”
“We never could have imagined the enormous level of interest and enthusiastic exchange of ideas that the BMW Guggenheim Lab and its programming generated in New York City, both on the ground and online,” said Richard Armstrong. “In its 53 days, the New York Lab welcomed more than 54,000 visitors from 60 countries, and 329,000 people from 168 countries visited the Labʼs website (bmwguggenheimlab.org). With the appointment of the Berlin Lab Team, and the range of experience and interests they bring to the project, we are excited to see how this initiative will continue to evolve and further the Guggenheimʼs commitment to education, scholarship, and design innovation. We thank the city of Berlin, the home of Deutsche Guggenheim, ANCB, and especially BMW for joining us in this pioneering urban experiment.”
“Goodbye New York, hello Berlin—before Mumbai, we welcome the BMW Guggenheim Lab to Germanyʼs capital,” said Frank-Peter Arndt, member of the Board of Management, BMW AG. “The highly professional and intensive dialogue, as well as the broad public interest during its sojourn in Manhattan, has exceeded our expectations. The adventure continues. We are very much looking forward to an exciting program in Berlin.”
“The very first version of the Lab in Europe will have a particular focus on the importance of practical doing and making, empowering urban dwellers with tools and ideas to actively engage in city change,” said Maria Nicanor, Assistant Curator, Architecture, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and curator of the Berlin Lab.
“Each of us has very different educational and professional backgrounds that we are eager to share. We are looking forward to making the BMW Guggenheim Lab Berlin a ʻlabʼ of the interdisciplinary, multifaceted approach that will be needed to address tomorrowʼs major urban challenges,” said the Berlin Lab Team in a joint statement.
“We at ANCB are pleased to collaborate closely with the BMW Guggenheim Lab Berlin on the programming for this exciting project,” said Hans-Jürgen Commerell and Kristin Feireiss, Directors of ANCB. “The theme of the Lab, Confronting Comfort, probes areas that ANCB has also been deeply engaged with—notions of individual and collective comfort and the urgent need for environmental and social responsibility. We look forward to working with the BMW Guggenheim Lab to deepen dialogue about the issues pressing upon contemporary urban life, supporting new ideas, experimentation, and the creation of forward-thinking solutions for city life, and we are glad to involve our partners and associated networks.”
After Berlin, the BMW Guggenheim Lab will travel to Mumbai in 2012–13.
The BMW Guggenheim Lab is curated by David van der Leer, Assistant Curator, Architecture and Urban Studies, and Maria Nicanor, Assistant Curator, Architecture.
The graphic identity of the BMW Guggenheim Lab has been developed by Seoul-based graphic designer Sulki & Min.
About the BMW Guggenheim Lab Online
The BMW Guggenheim Lab website (bmwguggenheimlab.org), blog (blog.bmwguggenheimlab.org), and online communities further extend the opportunity to participate in this multidisciplinary urban experiment worldwide. Visitors are invited to become members of the BMW Guggenheim Lab's dedicated social communities at:
twitter.com/bmwgugglab and #BGLab
About the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation
Founded in 1937, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation is dedicated to promoting the understanding and appreciation of art, primarily of the modern and contemporary periods, through exhibitions, education programs, research initiatives, and publications. Currently the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation owns and operates the Guggenheim Museum on Fifth Avenue in New York and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection on the Grand Canal in Venice, and provides programming and management for the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. The Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin is the result of a collaboration, begun in 1997, between the Guggenheim Foundation and Deutsche Bank. The Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, a museum of modern and contemporary art designed by Frank Gehry on Saadiyat Island and adjacent to the main island of Abu Dhabi city, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, is currently in progress. More information about the foundation can be found at guggenheim.org.
About BMWʼs Cultural Commitment
In 2011, the BMW Group is celebrating 40 years of international cultural commitment. During this time the BMW Group has initiated and engaged in more than 100 cultural cooperations worldwide. The company places the main focus of its long-term commitment on modern and contemporary art, jazz and classical music, as well as architecture and design. The BMW Group has also been ranked industry leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes for the last six years. In 1972, the artist Gerhard Richter created three large-scale paintings specifically for the foyer of the BMW Groupʼs Munich headquarters. Since then, artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Olafur Eliasson, Thomas Demand, and Jeff Koons have cooperated with BMW. The company has also commissioned famous architects and firms such as Karl Schwanzer, Zaha Hadid, and COOP HIMMELB(L)AU to design important corporate buildings and plants. The BMW Group guarantees absolute creative freedom in all the cultural activities it is involved in, as trust is just as essential for groundbreaking artistic work as it is for major innovations in a successful business. More information about BMWʼs cultural commitment can be found at bmwgroup.com/culture and bmw.com/bmwguggenheimlab.
About ANCB–Metropolitan Laboratory
ANCB is a unique “metropolitan laboratory” focusing on the future of our cities. After three decades of exhibiting, publishing, and convening some of the worldʼs most internationally acclaimed and pioneering architects, ANCB has opened its doors to researchers and students from around the world. Since its inception, ANCB has attracted regular contribution from international practices and universities, building a strong and ever-growing global network. From these foundations, ANCB has positioned itself as the hub of an extensive international research network, based on a structure of cultural exchange and knowledge transfer. Partnering with some of the most highly regarded institutions and universities worldwide, ANCB provides a transdisciplinary laboratory environment in which the likes of architects, planners, economists, philosophers, scientists, artists, engineers, and ecologists come together to tackle the key issues facing our globalized urban environments.
Tina Vaz/Betsy Ennis
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
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November 9, 2011